Chadwick Boseman: Howard University and Netflix create $5.4m scholarship honoring actor

Widow of Black Panther star hails opportunity to support young artists through Boseman’s alma mater

Howard University and Netflix on Monday announced the creation of a new $5.4m scholarship honoring the late actor and alumnus of the institution, Chadwick Boseman.

The Chadwick A Boseman Memorial Scholarship will provide incoming students in the College of Fine Arts, which was renamed after the actor last month, with a four-year scholarship to cover the full cost of university tuition.

The $5.4m scholarship was established in conjunction with the streaming giant and Simone Ledward-Boseman, the widow of the star of the mega-hit Black Panther and other acclaimed movies.

“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 continues to inspire,” said the Howard University president, Wayne Frederick.

“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,” Frederick added.

Ledward-Boseman described the scholarship as an opportunity for young artists to pursue higher learning, saying: “We hope to support as many students as possible by removing the financial barrier to education.”

“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and amazed at the love and dedication shown by so many continuing to honor my husband’s work. I know he’d be proud,” she added.

According to the university, students who receive the scholarship will have demonstrated a drive for excellence, leadership, respect, empathy, passion and exceptional skills in the arts, “reminiscent of Boseman”.

Boseman, who died of colon cancer last year at 43, earned a posthumous best actor nomination at the 2021 Oscars for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

“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,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO and chief content officer.

Howard University is one of the most prestigious historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the US and a world-renowned seat of higher education.

Notable alumni include the US vice-president, Kamala Harris; the actor Taraji P Henson; the late supreme court justice Thurgood Marshall, whom Boseman portrayed in the 2017 biopic Marshall; the late congressman Elijah Cummings, and the musician Sean Combs, among many others.

Contributor

Maya Yang in New York

The GuardianTramp

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