From the campus of Howard University to the silver screen, late actor Chadwick Boseman left a lasting impact on every space that he entered, and his alma mater will honor his legacy in a special way. Howard announced its re-established College of Fine Arts will be named after the visionary.
Boseman graduated from the Washington, D.C.-based HBCU 21 years ago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. As a student at Howard, he spearheaded a protest against merging the College of Fine Arts into the College of Arts & Sciences and continued to push for this—with the help of other alumni—even after he graduated. Although he amassed major success in the arts, he never lost sight of where he came from and the individuals and institutions that were instrumental in helping him cultivate a foundation to thrive.
In 2018, he returned to Howard to deliver a poignant commencement speech. “Purpose crosses disciplines,” he said during his speech. “Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill. Whatever you choose for a career path, remember, the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose. Howard’s legacy is not wrapped up in the money that you will make, but the challenges that you choose to confront. As you commence to your paths, press on with pride and press on with purpose.”
The Black Panther star’s wife Simone Ledward-Boseman says Boseman was proud to be a Howard alum and the renaming of the reestablished institution is a full-circle moment. “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,” she said in a statement. “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.” Robert A. Iger, Executive Chairman of The Walt Disney Company, will spearhead fundraising efforts for the development of a facility and endowment for the college.