Netflix has funded a $5.4 million endowed scholarship to honor actor Chadwick Boseman, who graduated from Howard University in 2000. The Black Panther superstar died after a private battle with colon cancer last August.
The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will cover four years of tuition for incoming students in the College of Fine Arts.”This scholarship embodies Chadwick’s love for Howard, his passion for storytelling, and his willingness to support future generations of Howard students,” Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a press statement. “I am thankful for the continue support and partnership of Chadwick’s wife, Mrs. Simone Ledward-Boseman, and to Netflix for this important gift.”
The gift also represents an interesting move by Netflix, the streaming behemoth that is a relative newcomer to this sort of philanthropy.
The scholarship will be awarded to students who demonstrate financial need and exemplify Boseman’s values, such as a drive for excellence, leadership, respect, empathy, and passion. This semester, the scholarship will be given to one student in each class year. After that, one incoming freshman will receive the scholarship every year. “Many exemplary artists are not afforded the opportunity to pursue higher learning,” Ledward-Boseman said. “This endowment represents Chad’s devotion to the craft, his compassion for others and his desire to support future storytellers.”
The four scholarships have been awarded this fall semester to Sarah Long, a freshman studying musical theatre; Shawn Smith, a sophomore studying acting; Janee’ Ferguson, a junior studying theatre arts administration; and Deirde Dunkin, a senior studying dance
The scholarship funding is the third high-profile donation that Howard has received over the past couple of years. This summer, three foundations and an anonymous donor gifted nearly $20 million to support Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ faculty appointments to the school. Last July, Howard also received a $40 million donation from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.