Howard University and Netflix have announced a $5.4 million endowed scholarship to honor actor, director, writer and producer, alumnus Chadwick A. Boseman. The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will provide incoming students in the College of Fine Arts with a four-year scholarship to cover the full cost of university tuition. The HBCU officially renamed its College of Fine Arts after the Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Oscar-nominated supporting actor in September.
“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,” Howard University’s president, Wayne A.I. Frederick, told Deadline.
The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship was created with the support of Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman and sponsorship from Netflix, the inaugural donor. The first scholarships will be awarded to one recipient in each class beginning fall 2021.
It will focus on students who exemplify exceptional skills in the arts reminiscent of the Black Panther actor, and who demonstrate financial need. The first year will begin with awarding four awards representing one member of each class and will continue to be distributed to an incoming freshman each year on an annual basis.
The inaugural class of awardees are: Sarah Long, a freshman in musical theater; Shawn Smith, a sophomore studying acting; Janee’ Ferguson, a junior in theater arts administration; and senior Deirdre Dunkin, who studies dance.
“Many exemplary artists are not afforded the opportunity to pursue higher learning, 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 told Deadline.
Boseman died in August 2020 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer.
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