Led by one of Boseman’s mentors and former professor, Dean Phylicia Rashad, the school will now be named the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. A statement by Boseman’s family said, “Chad fought to preserve the College of Fine Arts during his matriculation at Howard and remained dedicated to the fight throughout his career, and he would be overjoyed by this development. His time at Howard University helped shape both the man and the artist that he became, committed to truth, integrity and a determination to transform the world through the power of storytelling.”
Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman shared her words of support for the inauguration stating, “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. 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.”
In the past, Boseman has been public about the mentorship he received from Rashad and how much the relationship prepared him for his future endeavors. Rashad recalls a time when Boseman was still a student at the school saying, “While he was a student, Boseman led a protest against the College of Fine Arts’ absorption into the College of Arts & Sciences, which he referenced during his powerful commencement address in 2018, where he spoke about challenging the powers that be and finding your purpose.”
Boseman died in August 2020 at the age of 43 following a private battle with cancer. In 2018, Boseman returned to his alma mater to deliver the commencement speech for the Howard University graduating class, praising the students for protesting during a time when the school was under scandal.
Congratulations to all the future students of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts!
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) May 26, 2021
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