Chadwick A. Boseman, Howard alumnus and namesake of the College of Fine Arts, embodied the College's values.
Best known for his iconic role as T'Challa/Black Panther in Marvel Studios' blockbuster "Black Panther," actor and playwright Chadwick A. Boseman (B.F.A. 2000) left behind an indelible legacy in his 43 years of life. Boseman stood out for both his undeniable talent and his commitment to playing roles that subverted stereotypes and brought important stories from African-American history to life.
When I dared to challenge the system that would relegate us to victims and stereotypes with no clear historical backgrounds, no hopes or talents, when I questioned that method of portrayal, a different path opened up for me, the path to my destiny."
Boseman showed an interest in the performing arts early on, writing his first play while in high school and studying directing at Howard. During his matriculation at the University, Boseman fought to preserve the College of Fine Arts, served as the president of the Howard Players, and was mentored by none other than Phylicia Rashad, now the dean of the re-established College. When Boseman was accepted into a summer program at Oxford, but couldn't afford to attend, Rashad--then a professor at Howard--recruited the help of celebrity friends, including Denzel Washington, to send Boseman to Oxford.
What I saw in him [Chadwick Boseman] was the sky without limits. He never asked me to introduce him to anyone – that’s not his way. He was going to make it on his own merits."
--Phylicia Rashad, Dean of the College of Fine Arts
Boseman returned to the Hilltop in 2018 to serve as that year's Commencement speaker. Following his death, the University partnered with Boseman's wife Simone Ledward-Boseman to establish the Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship, with Netflix providing the inaugural donation. The scholarship pays the full cost of four years' tuition to one incoming freshman each year. Scholarship recipients are exemplars of Boseman's values: passion, empathy, leadership, respect, and drive for excellence.
Many exemplary artists are not afforded the opportunity to pursue higher learning. We hope to support as many students as possible by removing the financial barrier to education. This endowment represents Chad’s devotion to the craft, his compassion for others and his desire to support future storytellers."
--Simone Ledward-Boseman, wife of Chadwick Boseman
The Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts honors its namesake's commitment to changing the world through storytelling. We aim to continue Boseman's legacy by fostering the development of future generations of accomplished artists.