The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will award full scholarships to students in the historically Black university’s College of Fine Arts, which was named after Boseman in May.
The first scholarships have already been given to Sarah Long, a freshman who studies musical theater; Shawn Smith, a sophomore in the acting program; Janee’ Ferguson, a junior in theater arts administration; and Deirdre Dunkin, a senior studying dance.
Beginning next year, a first-year student will be chosen annually to receive the scholarship, which covers 100 percent of tuition for four years — an amount totaling about $113,800. The scholarship is meant for students who “exemplify exceptional skills in the arts reminiscent of Mr. Boseman” and demonstrate financial need, according to officials.
“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,” the actor’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman, said in a statement. “This endowment represents Chad’s devotion to the craft, his compassion for others, and his desire to support future storytellers.”
A South Carolina native, Boseman graduated from Howard in 200 with a bachelor of fine arts in directing. He delivered the commencement address in 2018. “Purpose crosses disciplines. Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history,” he told the graduating class.
Boseman is widely known for his role in the movie “Black Panther,” as well as portraying Black icons Jackie Robinson in “42” and James Brown in “Get On Up” and Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall.” Boseman died of colon cancer in 2020.
“I think Howard meant a lot to Chadwick,” said Howard’s president, Wayne A.I. Frederick. The actor had an “incredible journey” at the school and built lasting relationships on campus. “All of those things inspired him to want to give back to the university,” said Frederick.
Image source: NBC News