On Monday (October 4th), Howard University announced the creation of The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship in conjunction with Netflix. The endowment, estimated at $5.4 million, will cover four years of tuition at the HBCU’s College of Fine Arts which was been renamed after the late actor earlier this year. “This scholarship embodies Chadwick’s love for Howard, his passion for storytelling, and his willingness to support future generations of Howard students. I am thankful for the continuous support and partnership of Chadwick’s wife, Mrs. Simone Ledward Boseman, and to Netflix for this important gift.”, said Wayne I. Frederick, M.D., the President of Howard University.
The scholarship is set to be awarded for the first time this fall, with four inaugural recipients named: freshman Sarah Long (musical theatre), sophomore Shawn Smith (acting), junior Janee’ Ferguson (theatre arts administration) and senior Deirdre Dunkin (dance). Going forward, the scholarship will be bestowed upon an incoming freshman to the College of Fine Arts who shows exceptional promise in the arts and has a demonstrable financial hardship on an annual basis.
“While [Boseman] was taken from us too soon, his spirit is with us always in his work and the good that he has inspired,” Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. Boseman died in August of last year at the age of 43 after undergoing a private battle with colon cancer. He was a devoted alumnus of Howard, coming back in 2018 to deliver a stirring commencement speech to the graduating class that year. “He always spoke of his time at Howard and the positive way it shaped his life and career. Now, we will have the opportunity to give many future superheroes a chance to experience the same. We are grateful to Simone and Chadwick’s whole family and our partners at Howard University for making this possible.”