Phylicia Rashad brought more than star power to Howard University

Phylicia Rashad

The first thing to understand about Phylicia Rashad, the outgoing dean of Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts — as opposed to Phylicia Rashad the two-time Tony-winning actress and TV mom emerita — is that she really didn’t want to do this interview. Not because she was too busy (though Commencement was just a week away) or media-shy (pfft), but because she didn’t get all the fuss.

After all, she’s one of three deans leaving the school this spring, “and the work that they have accomplished is outstanding,” says Rashad, 75, from her office in Lulu Vere Childers Hall on Howard’s Northwest Washington campus. Then she dips her head ever so slightly, fixing you with her signature glare.

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