Netflix Establishes a $5.4 Million Chadwick A. Boseman Scholarship at Howard University

Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Netflix has announced a $5.4 million endowed scholarship named in the honor of Chadwick Boseman at Howard University, according to a press release from the school.

The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will cover four years of tuition at Howard’s College of Fine Arts, which was renamed after Boseman earlier this year. 

The inaugural Boseman recipients are freshman Sarah Long (musical theatre), sophomore Shawn Smith (acting), junior Janee’ Ferguson (theatre arts administration), and senior Deirdre Dunkin (dance).

Simone Ledward-Boseman, Chadwick’s widow, said the endowment is a reflection of Chadwick’s commitment to his art.

“Many exemplary artists are not afforded the opportunity to pursue higher learning. We hope to support as many students as possible by removing the financial barrier to education,” she said. ”This endowment represents Chad’s devotion to the craft, his compassion for others, and his desire to support future storytellers.”

“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,” she added. 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.”

Beginning this fall, Netflix is the inaugural donor of the scholarship.

“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. “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.” 

Howard University president Wayne A.I. Frederick expressed his gratitude for the generous scholarship endowment.

“This scholarship embodies Chadwick’s love for Howard, his passion for storytelling, and his willingness to support future generations of Howard students,” Howard president Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a statement. “I am thankful for the continuous support and partnership of Chadwick’s wife, Mrs. Simone Ledward-Boseman, and to Netflix for this important gift.”

While at Howard, Boseman studied directing and earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the university in 2000. He passed away in August of 2020 after a years-long battle with colon cancer. His final film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, was released posthumously on Netflix last November. His remarkable performance garnered him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

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