Howard University announced on Wednesday it is renaming its College of Fine Arts after later actor Chadwick Boseman, an alumnus of the school.
The Black Panther star died of colon cancer on August 28, 2020, at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with the disease. He graduated from Howard University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing.
“When Chadwick Boseman returned to campus in 2018 to serve as our commencement speaker, he called Howard a magical place,” said Howard President Wayne Frederick in a press release. “During his visit, I announced our plans to reestablish the College of Fine Arts and he was filled with ideas and plans to support the effort in a powerful way.”
A petition campaign in September 2020 called on the historically black university to rename its College of Fine Arts in honor of Boseman. The actor led a student protest against the absorption of the College of Fine Arts into the College of Arts & Sciences during his tenure at Howard.
The Walt Disney Company’s Executive Chairman Bob Iger has volunteered to lead the fundraising effort to build a state-of-the art facility and endowment for the college, according to the statement.
“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,” Frederick said.
Chadwick Boseman was an extraordinary, gifted, charismatic and kindhearted person, with a tireless commitment to helping others. I am honored to help @howardU raise money to build a new home for their College of Fine Arts. https://t.co/Mjs4xVL2xO
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 26, 2021
Only two weeks ago, Howard named alumna and actress Phylicia Rashad, best known for playing Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, as the new dean of the fine arts college.
“During his tenure, he had the fortunate opportunity to be trained and mentored by Rashad, who recognized his talent early on,” the university said.
“Unrelenting in his pursuit of excellence, Chadwick was possessed with a passion for inquiry and a determination to tell stories – through acting, writing, and directing – that revealed the beauty and complexity of our human spirit,” Rashad was quoted as saying about the late actor.
With the announcement, Howard started a fundraising campaign for building a new state-of-the-art facility that will house the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, among other school facilities. To donate, please visit https://giving.howard.edu/BosemanCollegeOfFineArts.