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‘He’d Be Proud’: Netflix Creates Multi-Million Dollar Howard University Scholarship In Honor of Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman‘s alma mater, Howard University, is continuing to honor the late actor’s memory by making a path for the next generation of Black talent through a $5.4 million scholarship created in his honor.

Months after naming the College of Fine Arts for the “Black Panther” actor, who died after battling colon cancer in 2020, the university, in partnership with Netflix and Boseman’s widow, Simone Ledward-Boseman, has announced The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship.

Howard University and Netflix announced The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship. Photo Credit: @chadwickboseman/Instagram

According to a press release from Howard, the endowed scholarship will provide incoming students in the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts a four-year scholarship to cover the full cost of university tuition. Recipients of the scholarship are required to possess a number of traits that “exemplify Boseman’s values” of passion, leadership, a drive for excellence, respect and empathy.

“This scholarship embodies Chadwick’s love for Howard, his passion for storytelling, and his willingness to support future generations of Howard students,” said Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University. “I am thankful for the continuous support and partnership of Chadwick’s wife, Mrs. Simone Ledward-Boseman, and to Netflix for this important gift.”

The four students named as the scholarship’s inaugural recipients 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.

“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,” said Ledward-Boseman.

“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.”

Top row left to right: Sarah Long (freshman, musical theatre), Deirdre Dunkin (senior, dance). Bottom row left to right: Shawn Smith (sophomore, acting), Janee’ Ferguson (junior, theatre arts administration) Photo Credit: Howard University Press Photo

Boseman remained active within the Howard community throughout his career. The “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” star gave the commencement speech during the school’s 2018 ceremony, and was working with the institution’s president to re-establish the College of Fine Arts before his death.

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