Howard University is paying tribute to one of its groundbreaking alumni in entertainment.
The HBCU’s performing and visual arts school is to be renamed the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts after the Black Panther and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actor and 2000 graduate, who was a directing major. Boseman, who delivered the school’s commencement address in 2018, died of colon cancer at age 43 in August 2020.
Howard confirmed the news on its Twitter account after The Washington Post and Variety reported the news. “Thank you, @washingtonpost, for this feature on our exciting news! Howard University is pleased to name the College of Fine Arts after our iconic alumnus @chadwickboseman!” the tweet read.
The school’s move follows a Change.org petition that students began sharing in the aftermath of Boseman’s death that advocated for naming the College of Fine Arts for Boseman. As of press time, over 58,000 individuals had signed on. As part of the renaming, Disney executive chairman and board chairman Bob Iger will kick-start fundraising to establish an endowment in Boseman’s name and a new building on campus for the College of Fine Arts, the university’s school of communication and other entities, the Post reported.
Howard president Wayne A. I. Frederick told the Post that before his death, Boseman was set to serve on the College of Fine Arts board and was making a masterclass series for Howard students. “We are very excited. This is the right thing to do,” he told the paper of the renaming. “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.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter