Chadwick Boseman to be honoured by alma mater with Fine Arts building

·2-min read

Officials at Howard University are renaming their College of Fine Arts after Chadwick Boseman.

The Black Panther star, who lost his battle with cancer last summer, studied directing at the historically black college from 1997 to 2000 before finding fame as an actor.

Announcing the news, Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick said Chadwick had backed plans to re-establish a Fine Arts faculty, having fought its absorption into the Arts & Sciences Department while a student.

"When Chadwick Boseman returned to campus in 2018 to serve as our commencement speaker, he called Howard a magical place," Frederick said in a press release. "During his visit, I announced our plans to re-establish the College of Fine Arts and he was filled with ideas and plans to support the effort in a powerful way.

"Chadwick's love for Howard University was sincere, and although he did not live to see those plans through to fruition, it is my honor to ensure his legacy lives on through the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts with the support of his wife and the Chadwick Boseman Foundation."

The honour comes a week after Howard University executives named former The Cosby Show star Phylicia Rashad, who taught Chadwick at Howard, as Dean of the newly re-established College.

The late actor's widow, Simone Ledward-Boseman, added: "I am extremely pleased that Howard University has chosen to honor my husband in this way and elated that Ms. Rashad has accepted the role as Dean. Chad was a very proud Bison - both Howard and Ms. Rashad played integral roles in his journey as an artist.

"The re-establishment of the College of Fine Arts brings this part of his story full-circle and ensures that his legacy will continue to inspire young storytellers for years to come."

The Da 5 Bloods star was studying to become a director when he signed up for Rashad's acting class and often revealed in interviews how she mentored him when he was a struggling student. She was impressed enough with his talent to turn to Denzel Washington to help finance further studies at Britain's prestigious Oxford University.

Meanwhile, Disney boss Bob Iger will be overseeing fundraising efforts for construction of a new building that will be home to the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, among other Howard University departments.

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