Howard University is renaming its College of Fine Arts after the late actor Chadwick Boseman, an alumnus of the school, reports Howard University’s Office of University Communications.
Boseman, who graduated from Howard in 2000 with a bachelor of arts degree in directing, died in August from colon cancer. In his time at Howard, Boseman led a student protest against the absorption of the College of Fine Arts into the larger College of Arts & Sciences, the university said in a statement.
In 2018, the year Boseman rocketed to international fame as King T’Challa in the Marvel movie “Black Panther,” the university announced that its performing and visual arts school would return to its independent status.
“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,” Boseman’s family said in a statement.
“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.”
The university announced that Bob Iger, the executive chairman of the Walt Disney Company, will lead fundraising for an endowment named after Boseman and raise money to build a new arts facility on the campus. (“Black Panther” was produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.)
The new building will also be home to the Cathy Hughes School of Communications and the university’s television and radio stations, WHUT-TV and WHUR 96.3 FM.
The announcements come weeks after actress and alumnus Phylicia Rashad (“The Cosby Show”) was named as dean of the fine arts college. The university said Boseman was “trained and mentored” by Rashad when he was a student there.