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‘Full Circle Moment’: Anthony Anderson Graduates from Howard University 30 Years After He Was First Accepted

Anthony Anderson can now add Howard University graduate to his list of accomplishments.

On May 7, the actor earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. The feat marks a major personal milestone for the “Black-ish” star who first began his collegiate career 30 years ago. 

Anthony Anderson Photo: Anthony Anderson/Instagram

With a series of commencement day photos shared to social, Anderson wrote, “Words can’t begin to describe the emotional roller coaster I’m on right now. It’s literally been 30 years in the making.” All smiles, Anderson posed with members of the graduating class, Howard president Dr. Wayne Frederick, actress and fine arts college Dean Phylicia Rashad and alumna and actress Taraji P. Henson. Henson also served as the commencement speaker for the ceremony, which marks the 154th graduating class, and the first in-person ceremony since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.

“Yesterday [May 7] was a full circle moment,” Anderson continued in the post’s text. “It’s never too late! Things happen when they’re  supposed to happen!” Graduating from the Historically Black College and University was a goal Anderson set for himself when his son, Nathan, was accepted as an incoming freshman four years ago.

Speaking about his collegiate plans, Anderson shared that he only had one year of coursework remaining when he had to withdraw from the school three decades prior. “I was paying for college myself and I ran out of money my junior year,” Anderson explained in 2018 while appearing on the “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.”

It was then that he shared just how serious he was about earning his degree. “I’ve been speaking with the university and Dr. Frederick, who is the president of the university, about creating a curriculum that I can take online and at home, and do some practical classes on campus so I can walk with my son in 2022,” Anderson said before joking, “So I have four years to finish one year of college.”

The “Law and Order” actor ultimately walked the stage without his son — who opted to withdraw from school to pursue a music career — but made certain to acknowledge him in the post. He wrote, “Thank you to my son for inspiring me to return to school to finish my degree after he was accepted to Howard University.” 

Obtaining his degree marks the second closing of a chapter for the actor this year. In April, Anderson and his “Black-ish” castmates said their final farewell to the popular ABC family sitcom with its eighth season. The momentous occasion was equally emotional for Anderson.

“I had been prepping myself for it, and in the last scene on the last day is when I lost it, and it was unexpected for me,” he told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” “I didn’t expect to lose it the way that I did, but that just goes to show how much I love what I do [and] love doing it with the people that I did it with for the last eight years.”

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