Howard University Creates $5.4 Million Scholarship in Honor of Chadwick Boseman

Netflix is teaming up with late actor Chadwick Boseman's wife Simone Ledward-Boseman and his alma mater Howard University to create a fund for students in the College of Fine Arts

Chadwick Boseman
Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Chadwick Boseman's alma mater is honoring the late actor with a scholarship established in his name.

Howard University announced the creation of a $5.4 million endowed Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship for incoming students in Howard's College of Fine Arts, the university announced in a Monday press release. The four-year scholarship covers full tuition and was created with Boseman's wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman, and inaugural donor Netflix.

"It is with immense pleasure and deep gratitude that we announce the creation of an endowed scholarship in honor of alumnus Chadwick Boseman, whose life and contributions to the arts continue to inspire," Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a statement.

He continued, "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."

Howard's announcement comes one month after the university honored Boseman by renaming their College of Fine Arts after the actor, a change they first announced in May.

At Howard, Boseman studied directing. He earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the university in 2000, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Following a private, years-long battle with colon cancer, he died in August 2020. His final film, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, was released posthumously on Netflix last November.

Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman. Rick Rowell via Getty

In a statement released Monday, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos said Boseman "was taken from us too soon," but added, "his spirit is with us always in his work and the good that he has inspired."

"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," Sarandos continued. "We are grateful to Simone and Chadwick's whole family and our partners at Howard University for making this possible."

Ledward-Boseman said in a statement that she hopes to "support as many students as possible by removing the financial barrier to education" with the new scholarship.

"This endowment represents Chad's devotion to the craft, his compassion for others and his desire to support future storytellers," she said. "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."

"I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and amazed at the love and dedication shown by so many continuing to honor my husband's work," Ledward-Boseman added. "I know he'd be proud."

One recipient in each class will be given the Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship, starting this fall.

"The scholarship will focus on students who exemplify exceptional skills in the arts, reminiscent of Boseman, and who demonstrate financial need," Monday's press release stated.

The four recipients this year are freshman Sarah Long, sophomore Shawn Smith, junior Janee' Ferguson, and senior Deirdre Dunkin.

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