They’re keeping his legacy alive!
Howard University and Netflix have teamed up to create a $5.4 million scholarship in honor of Chadwick Boseman, Deadline reports. Boseman passed away a little over a year ago after a private battle with colon cancer. During his career, the late actor, director, writer, producer, and Howard University alumnus was always very transparent about his love for his beloved HBCU, even serving as the University’s 2018 commencement speaker. Since his passing, the school has preserved his legacy, recently renaming their College of Fine Arts in honor of the “Black Panther” star.
Now, Howard has teamed up with Netflix to announce a $5.4 million endowed scholarship in honor of Boseman. The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will award incoming students at the College of Fine Arts with four-year scholarships to cover the cost of tuition in full.
“It is with immense pleasure and deep gratitude that we announce the creation of an endowed scholarship in honor of alumnus Chadwick Boseman, whose life and contributions to the arts continues to inspire. This scholarship embodies Chadwick’s love for Howard, his passion for storytelling, and his willingness to support future generations of Howard students. I am thankful for the continuous support and partnership of Chadwick’s wife, Mrs. Simone Ledward Boseman, and to Netflix for this important gift,” HU President Wayne A.I. Frederick, said.
Netflix has streamed two posthumous projects from Boseman, including his final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and a documentary special, Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist, exploring his creative process and featuring commentary from his friends and peers. The streaming giant sponsored the new scholarship as an inaugural donor with the support of Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman.
“It is with enormous pride that we announce our endowment of the Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship. While he was taken from us too soon, his spirit is with us always in his work and the good that he has inspired. He always spoke of his time at Howard and the positive way it shaped his life and career. Now, we will have the opportunity to give many future superheroes a chance to experience the same. We are grateful to Simone and Chadwick’s whole family and our partners at Howard University for making this possible,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer said.
The first scholarships have already been awarded to one recipient in each class. Honorees must exemplify exceptional skills in the arts and demonstrate financial need. After the first round of recipients, the scholarship will be awarded annually to one incoming freshman. The inaugural class of Boseman scholars includes Sarah Long, a freshman majoring in musical theatre; Shawn Smith, a sophomore who studies acting; Janeé Ferguson, a junior and theatre arts administration major; and Deirdre Dunkin, a senior studying dance.
“Many exemplary artists are not afforded the opportunity to pursue higher learning, [and] we hope to support as many students as possible by removing the financial barrier to education. This endowment represents Chad’s devotion to the craft, his compassion for others, and his desire to support future storytellers," Ledward-Boseman said about the significance of the scholarship for Howard students and her husband’s legacy. "My deepest thanks to Ted Sarandos, Scott Stuber, and our family at Netflix for their generous investment into the education of all present and future Boseman Scholars, and to President Wayne Frederick, Dean Phylicia Rashad, and Mr. David Bennett for their partnership and continued commitment to Chad’s legacy at Howard. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and amazed at the love and dedication shown by so many continuing to honor my husband’s work. I know he’d be proud.”
Continue to rest in power, Chad. Your legacy was not in vain.
Photo Courtesy of Howard University