Chadwick Boseman’s legacy at Howard University and his prospective impact on future generations continues to grow larger, with Netflix partnering with the university to establish a $5.4 million scholarship in the late actor’s name.
The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will provide incoming students in the newly reestablished College of Fine Arts (which was named for the esteemed alumnus in May) with a four-year scholarship to cover the full cost of university tuition.
“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,” said Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick, M.D. “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.”
A press release announcing the fund’s establishment explained that the first scholarships will be awarded this fall to one recipient in each class, and will subsequently be distributed to an incoming freshman on an annual basis. The scholarship will focus on students who exemplify exceptional skills in the arts and who demonstrate financial need, with preference given to students in the dramatic arts who exemplify Boseman’s values, specifically demonstrating a drive for excellence, leadership, respect, empathy and passion. The inaugural class of awardees are: Sarah Long, a freshman in musical theatre; Shawn Smith, a sophomore studying acting; Janee Ferguson, a junior in theatre arts administration; and senior Deirdre Dunkin who studies dance.
In support of the scholarship, Ledward-Boseman said: “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.”
“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,” she continued. “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.”
The fund highlights Boseman’s continued connection to Netflix, as two of the actor’s final roles were in partnership with the streamer, including the actor’s portrayal of Stormin’ Norman in Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods.” For his work as Levee in the Netflix adaptation of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Boseman posthumously earned an Academy Award nomination for best actor and won the Golden Globe, NAACP Image and Screen Actors Guild Awards, among numerous other critics group honors.