Netflix And Howard University Honor Chadwick Boseman With Namesake Scholarships

Howard University recently announced the first four recipients of the Chadwick A. Boseman Scholarship, which now has a $5.4 million endowment thanks to streaming platform Netflix. The scholarships cover the full cost of four years of tuition at the historically Black university for an incoming College of Fine Arts student each year.

To kick off the scholarship, Howard announced one recipient in each class, but going forward, it will be awarded to an incoming freshman to cover all four years of their education.

Boseman, an actor best known for his roles in “Black Panther” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” graduated from Howard in 2000. When Boseman died in August 2020, fans and even friends of the late actor were shocked to learn he’d even been sick — the 43-year-old had been hiding a diagnosis of colon cancer since 2016.

A few months after Boseman’s death, Howard University renamed its fine arts college after the alumnus.

Boseman’s “life and contributions to the arts continue to inspire,” said Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University, in a press release.

“This scholarship embodies Chadwick’s love for Howard, his passion for storytelling, and his willingness to support future generations of Howard students,” Frederick said.

The four students in the inaugural class of scholarship winners include 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, according to the press release.

According to the statement. Howard University will award the scholarship to “students who exemplify exceptional skills in the arts, reminiscent of Boseman, and who demonstrate financial need.”

Simone Ledward-Boseman, Boseman’s widow, shared her enthusiasm for helping students in the performing arts follow their passion in honor of her husband.

“This endowment represents Chad’s devotion to the craft, his compassion for others, and his desire to support future storytellers,” Ledward-Boseman said in the statement.

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Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos spoke of Boseman’s impact on the actor’s alma mater and the entertainment world as reasons behind the company’s generous endowment to the scholarship fund.

“He always spoke of his time at Howard and the positive way it shaped his life and career,” Sarandos said. “Now, we will have the opportunity to give many future superheroes a chance to experience the same.”