Netflix is partnering with Howard University to fund the $5.4 million Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship in honor of the actor and university alumnus. Boseman's final on-screen film roles were as "Stormin' Norm" Holloway in director Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods and Levee Green in the Academy Award-winning Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, both for Netflix. The streamer's scholarship will provide a four-year scholarship and cover tuition costs for incoming students of the College of Fine Arts, recently renamed in remembrance of the Black Panther star who died last August aged 43.
"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 Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick, M.D., in a statement. "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 is established with the support of Boseman's wife and the sponsorship from inaugural donor Netflix. According to a press release, the scholarship "will focus on students who exemplify exceptional skills in the arts, reminiscent of Boseman, and who demonstrate financial need," and be awarded to one recipient in each class beginning Fall 2021 and distributed to incoming freshmen on an annual basis.
"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," said Ledward-Boseman. "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."
Said Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer: "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. We are grateful to Simone and Chadwick's whole family and our partners at Howard University for making this possible."
The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will be given to students in the dramatic arts who "exemplify Boseman's values," including a drive for excellence, leadership, respect, empathy, and passion.
The inaugural class of awardees announced Monday are: 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.