Howard University will rename its College of Fine Arts for late alum and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. The actor passed away in 2020.
The announcement comes on the heels of stage and screen star Phylicia Rashad being named the college's dean. Rashad herself is an alum of the historically Black university and was a mentor to Boseman.
Boseman graduated Howard in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in directing, returning in 2018 to receive an honorary doctorate and give a commencement address. Boseman rose to prominence in a string of biopics, playing legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson in 2013's 42, James Brown in Get on Up, and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. The actor, director, and playwright's stage work includes productions of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth with the National Shakespeare Company of New York, and Deep Azure, Boseman's 2005 Jeff Award-nominated play about police brutality. Boseman received a posthumous 2021 Academy Award nomination for his performance as Levee in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom on Netflix.
Disney's Bob Iger will lead new fundraising efforts to establish an endowment in Boseman's name and for a new, state-of-the-art building to house the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts and the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, along with Howard's TV and radio stations.