Howard University is renaming its College of Fine Arts after actor and distinguished alum Chadwick Boseman.
On Wednesday, Howard announced that its performing and visual arts school would be named after "Black Panther" star and Academy Award-nominated actor Chadwick Boseman. Boseman, who graduated from Howard's Class of 2000 and received an honorary doctorate in 2018, passed away in August 2020 at 43 from colon cancer.
Last year students of Howard and members of the general public signed and circulated a petition to get the college renamed in honor of Boseman after his passing. To date, over 50,000 people have signed.
According to the Washington Post, "Walt Disney Co.'s executive chairmen, Bob Iger, will spearhead fundraising for an endowment named after Boseman, as well as help raise money for the construction of a state-of-the-art building on the campus."
The restructuring of the College of Fine Arts was something Boseman fought for even during his time as a student at Howard as he led a protest advocating for the reinstatement of the College of Fine Arts as shared in a tweet from his Twitter profile.
The renaming of the college building comes on the heels of the announcement that distinguished alum and actress Phylicia Rashad will be the college's newly appointed dean. Rashad was also one of Boseman's mentors who also sponsored his attendance at a summer theatre program at the prestigious University of Oxford.
In 2018, when Boseman gave the Howard University commencement address he told students "a Howard University education is not just about what happens in the classroom."
That was something Boseman exemplified not only in his cinematic work but in his charitable efforts and the many ways he gave back to his community. Now it is something students will remember as they attend his alma mater and create their own legacies.
"As you commence to your paths, press on with pride and press on with purpose." - Chadwick Boseman, Howard University 2018 Commencement Address