Howard University & Netflix establish a $5.4 million Chadwick Boseman scholarship

With support from Netflix and late Chadwick Boseman's wife, Howard University has established an endowed $5.4 million scholarship for fine arts students to honor the late Boseman.


According to a press release issued by the streaming platform, Netflix has partnered with Chadwick Boseman’s alma mater, Howard University, to establish a $5.4 million endowed scholarship inspired by and in memory of Boseman himself. Simone Ledward Boseman, Boseman’s wife, has also shown her full support for this scholarship establishment by being the inaugural donor.

As it is named, the Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will provide a full scholarship to the incoming students of the College of Fine Arts, covering the full four-year tuition cost.

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Before he portrayed “Jackie Robinson” on “42” or played the iconic “Black Panther,” Boseman was an alumnus of the College of Fine Arts at Howard University. The late actor, writer, director, and producer, graduated from the university in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing.

Boseman as Jackie Robinson in the movie "42"

Boseman has always been an active member of the university and kept in touch even after graduation. He delivered the university’s commencement address back in 2018, which inspired many. He told them to find a purpose rather than just a job.

"Purpose crosses disciplines. Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history,”" Boseman told the graduating class.

Boseman as Black Panther in Marvel's "Black Panther" movie.

Wayne A.I. Frederick, Howard University’s president, has also commended Boseman’s continued support and said that the scholarship symbolizes Boseman’s love for the university.

"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 Frederick.

In May, Howard University also renamed the College of Fine Arts to Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts to honor Boseman. The name was installed in the following months.

Each year, a first-year student from each class will be selected for the scholarship covering the full tuition fee for four years which amounts to approximately $113,800. The scholarship will be awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional skills reminiscent of the talented award-winning actor, including respect, passion, empathy, and leadership.

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As part of the inaugural year, the scholarship has already been awarded to four lucky students of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. Awardees include the freshman Sarah Long (studying musical theater), sophomore Shawn Smith (studying acting), junior Janee’ Ferguson (studying theater arts administration), and a senior Deirdre Dunkin (studying dance).

All these students were chosen as they exemplify the core values Boseman held dear to him. This scholarship will help not only the deserving students but also the ones struggling financially.

According to Frederick, about fifty percent of the students are eligible for the federal Pell grant, reserved for low-income families. Therefore, having the Boseman scholarship will ease the financial burden on a lot of students.

Chadwick Boseman, who played an iconic role and left a mark in everyone's heart around the world, passed away in August of 2020 at the age of 43 following a four-year long battle with colon cancer.

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