Netflix is establishing an endowed scholarship fund of $5.4 million to Howard University in the name and memory of Chadwick Boseman.
The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will provide four-year scholarships to cover the full cost of tuition to incoming students in the College of Fine Arts at Howard University. It was established with the support of Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman, and with sponsorship from Netflix as the inaugural donor.
The scholarship will focus on students who demonstrate financial need and who exemplify exceptional skills in the arts reminiscent of Boseman. The inaugural year, beginning this fall, will begin with four awards representing one member of each graduating class. It will continue to be distributed to an incoming freshman each year on an annual basis.
Students who receive the scholarship will have demonstrated “a drive for excellence,” “leadership,” “respect,” “empathy” and “passion” for the art of storytelling, according to a release.
Howard University also announced the inaugural class of awardees: Sarah Long, a freshman in musical theatre; Shawn Smith, a sophomore studying acting; Janee’ Ferguson, a junior in theatre arts administration; and senior Deirdre Dunkin, who studies dance.
“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,” Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick, M.D said. “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.”
“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. This endowment represents Chad’s devotion to the craft, his compassion for others, and his desire to support future storytellers,” Ledward-Boseman 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. I know he’d be proud.”
“It is with enormous pride that we announce our endowment of the Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship. While he was taken from us too soon, 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,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer, said. “We are grateful to Simone and Chadwick’s whole family and our partners at Howard University for making this possible.”
Boseman was an alumnus of Howard University, graduating with a BA in directing in 2000, and he returned to speak at the university in 2018 for a commencement address after the release of “Black Panther.” In May it was announced that a wing of his alma mater would be named after him.
Boseman died in August 2020 from colon cancer at age 43.