Netflix, Howard University establish $5.4 million Chadwick Boseman scholarship

Nation and World News

Chadwick Boseman arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSPA) – Howard University and Netflix announced a $5.4 million scholarship to honor alumnus Chadwick A. Boseman, the esteemed actor, director, writer and producer.

The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will provide incoming students in the College of Fine Arts with a four-year scholarship to cover the full cost of University tuition, school officials said in a press release Monday. 

“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 continue to inspire,” Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick 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.”

The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship was established with the support of Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman, and sponsorship from Netflix, the inaugural donor. The first four scholarships will be awarded to one recipient in each class, beginning this Fall 2021, and will continue to be distributed to an incoming freshman each year on an annual basis, the school said.

The scholarship will focus on students who exemplify exceptional skills in the arts, reminiscent of Boseman, and who demonstrate financial need.

“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…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.”

Simone Ledward-Boseman

“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,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer. “We are grateful to Simone and Chadwick’s whole family and our partners at Howard University for making this possible.”

In continuing the actor’s legacy, preference for the scholarship will be given to students in the dramatic arts who exemplify Boseman’s values, a university press release said. Students who receive the Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will have demonstrated: 

  • A drive for excellence. Students who are continuously working toward improvement and putting in time above and beyond the basic requirements. This includes engagement in academic departments, campus or community organizations. 
  • Leadership. Students who have the personal fortitude to do what is right, even when this means they are in the minority. They exhibit honesty and are trustworthy, caring and ethical. They keep their word and honor their commitments, while accepting consequences and admitting their mistakes.  
  • Respect. Students who treat others fairly. They listen to and accept input from others. They maintain self-control and exhibit consideration for the things and people that they encounter.  
  • Empathy. Students who show kindness and understanding toward all those they encounter and actively listen in an effort to understand the unique experiences of others. They advocate for their community by identifying needs and working to meet them.  
  • Passion. Students who show an ardent desire to absorb all aspects of the art of storytelling. They understand the deeply rooted, critical importance of storytellers as cultural historians and aspire to inform, uplift and strengthen their community through their work. 

The inaugural class of awardees are as follows: 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.

For more information about the Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship, contact finearts@howard.edu 

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