Howard University is honoring the late Chadwick Boseman by renaming its newly reestablished College of Fine Arts after the actor. Chadwick graduated from Howard University in 2000 with a bachelor's degree of fine arts in directing, and his former professor, actress Phylicia Rashad, recently became the dean of the college. Howard University's College of Fine Arts will now be known as the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. The building will also be home to the Cathy Hughes School of Communications and the University's television and radio stations, WHUT-TV and WHUR 96.3 FM.
"During his tenure at Howard, Boseman led a student protest against the absorption of the College of Fine Arts into the College of Arts & Sciences," the university said in a statement on Wednesday. "Long after graduating, he, along with other alumni, continued to engage in conversations with Howard University administration — their efforts were not in vain." Phylicia added, "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."
"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."
In a separate statement, President of Howard University Wayne A. I. Frederick recalled the time Chadwick returned to campus in 2018 as the school's commencement speaker. "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," he said. "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 Boseman family also issued a statement of their own, thanking Howard University for honoring "our beloved Chad." "Chad fought to preserve the College of Fine Arts during his matriculation at Howard and remained dedicated to the fight throughout his career, and he would be overjoyed by this development," the statement read. "His time at Howard University helped shape both the man and the artist that he became, committed to truth, integrity, and a determination to transform the world through the power of storytelling. We are confident that under the dynamic leadership of his former professor and mentor the indomitable Phylicia Rashad that the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts will inspire artistic scholars for many generations."
Chadwick's wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman, added that she's "extremely pleased" over the honor and "elated" over Phylicia becoming the dean of the college. "Chad was a very proud Bison — both Howard and Ms. Rashad played integral roles in his journey as an artist," she said. "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."
Chadwick died in August 2020 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was 43.