In a move that honors the legacy of Howard University alum and Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, the university has renamed its visual and performing arts school after the late actor. Boseman graduated from Howard in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in directing.
Following Boseman’s passing in August, there was immediate desire for the college’s name to be changed in a way that honors the Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actor which sparked a petition to circulate that received nearly 60,000 signatures. The name change came to fruition, however, due to the work of Howard President, Wayne A. I. Frederick, and Walt Disney Co.’s executive chairman, Bob Iger. Iger will be leading the fundraising efforts for an endowment named after Boseman, as well as the construction of a new building on campus. The new building will house the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.
Boseman’s widow, Simone Ledward-Boseman, celebrated the renaming of the school saying, “Chad was a very proud Bison. The reestablishment of the College of Fine Arts brings this part of his story full-circle and ensures that his legacy will continue to inspire young storytellers for years to come.”
Frederick commented that due to economic challenges as a result of the pandemic, the university cannot give an exact date that they will break ground to begin construction on the building, though he assures everyone the school is moving with “haste.” The new building will be constructed in the current fine art building’s parking lot.