Netflix establishes $5.4 million Chadwick Boseman scholarship at Howard University

It hasn’t been the same since Chadwick Boseman passed away last year from colon cancer. Marvel’s Black Panther sequel moved ahead with filming without him and everyone has been wondering how they will handle the storyline without Chadwick. Chad was an amazing actor and the acting world lost a great. The beautiful thing is, Chad’s legacy continues to live on, and not just through his catalog of work and life. Chadwick’s widow, Simone Ledward-Boseman, and Netflix have teamed up to offer a $5.4 million (overall) scholarship that will cover the full four year tuition for an exceptional incoming College of Fine Arts freshmen at Chad’s alma mater, Howard University. The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship has already been doled out to four students at Howard, one in each year. Below are a few more details from Variety:

The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will provide incoming students in the newly reestablished College of Fine Arts (which was named for the esteemed alumnus in May) with a four-year scholarship to cover the full cost of university tuition.

“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. “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.”

A press release announcing the fund’s establishment explained that the first scholarships will be awarded this fall to one recipient in each class, and will subsequently be distributed to an incoming freshman on an annual basis. The scholarship will focus on students who exemplify exceptional skills in the arts and who demonstrate financial need, with preference given to students in the dramatic arts who exemplify Boseman’s values, specifically demonstrating a drive for excellence, leadership, respect, empathy and passion. The inaugural class of awardees 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.

In support of the scholarship, Ledward-Boseman said: “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,” she continued. “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.”

[From Variety]

I have finally gotten past the point where I cry every time I write a story about the late Chadwick Boseman. I still feel a heavy sadness and loss and I can’t watch any of his movies yet. I have been wanting to watch Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom because Ma Rainey is one of the most interesting entertainers in history. Every time I turn it on and see Chad, I get extremely sad so I turn it off. At some point I’ll be able to celebrate his life without the pain but I am not there yet. I think it is beautiful that his widow has been working on his legacy this last year despite grieving his loss. I love that she has partnered with Netflix to provide this scholarship for Howard.

I wanted to attend Howard or Spellman when I graduated high school back in the nineties, but the tuition was ridunculous and there were hardly any scholarships available. I also like the fact that the scholarship is geared towards arts students. Those wanting to go into the arts often don’t because of the cost of tuition and likelihood of debt without the guarantee of a career. I would have liked to see the scholarship cover the full tuition for more than one student a year, like four, but at least one student a year is a start. I am looking forward to seeing what else will implemented in the name of Chadwick’s legacy (I’m looking at you Marvel and Disney) but in the mean time I’ll celebrate this win with my H.U. folks.

Photos credit: WENN, Backgrid and via Instagram

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18 Responses to “Netflix establishes $5.4 million Chadwick Boseman scholarship at Howard University”

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  1. Lauren says:

    This is a beautiful legacy to leave behind. I still cannot manage to sit down to watch movies with Chadwick, it still feels so fresh because the news of his death was so sudden.

  2. Amy T says:

    It would be better to have Chadwick Boseman AND a scholarship (he seems the sort who would have done this or something like it in his lifetime). But we get what we get. May his memory be for a blessing.

  3. goofpuff says:

    this is beautiful

  4. Jais says:

    Teary now but this is lovely.

  5. TheOriginalMia says:

    A wonderful tribute to his memory and legacy. His death still hurts, but I’ve been able to watch parts of his films. Ma Rainey was amazing and I’m gutted he didn’t win an Oscar for the role. He’ll be forever missed.

  6. MellyMel says:

    Some good news! This is a lovely way to honor Chadwick.

  7. TQ says:

    Absolutely love this! A beautiful way to celebrate him and help many future generations of Howard U arts scholars!

  8. Nanea says:

    Reading about Chadwick still makes me feel sad, his death has affected me like no other outside my family and my friends.

    I don’t want to imagine how his passing hurt Simone, his family and his friends and colleagues.

    I am happy for students at Howard that they will be supported, and I hope, like others before me in this thread, that Disney and Marvel will step up and join the Netflix/SL-B initiative.

    • Ari says:

      Disney and Bob Iger already have and are continuing too. The newly reestablished and named Chadwick Bozeman College of Fine Arts at Howard University has Bob Iger as their Chief fundraiser to build a state of the art facility and an endowment for the college. They are not only donating money, but working with Howard U on this long term project. Iger has done similar things for his alma mater Ithaca which has helped grow their film school tremendously.

      When Chadwick was at Howard the College of Fine Arts was absorbed into the College of Arts and Sciences. He tried to stop this, and it’s nice the university did this after his death. These are fitting tributes.

  9. Lucy2 says:

    Beautiful. What a perfect way to honor and remember him.

  10. Eve says:


    I still can’t muster up the courage to wear the Black Panther t-shirt I bought (while the movie was in the theaters and I had no idea he was ill).

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Eve, no one knew. I don’t know how he was able to muster the strength to continue his craft. My sister recently passed from stage 4 pancreatic cancer and she was not able to move for at least the first few days of chemo, yet alone work.

      It’s lovely that they are going to represent Chadwick in this meaningful and impactful manner. I think Chadwick Boseman would be proud. He was so talented and impactful as he was on screen, I imagine in person he was magnanimous in person, it would be so x110%! I can’t watch his movies yet either, I hope to one day again soon. I have had Ma’s Rainy up in my list to watch but it’s too hard for me, I can’t imagine how it is for those who knew him personally. Kudos to Simone for keeping his memory alive, as well as Netflix. Those I felt a tinge of anger that those who profited the most haven’t stepped up to the plate, Disney. Hopefully they will follow the lead of Netflix, and on a much bigger scale.

      • Eve says:


        Interesting…I still can’t watch his movies either.

        I was floored when I read he’d died. Even my sister, who doesn’t really care about action/super hero movies, was impressed by his professionalism. She had to comfort me via phone one night. I was a wreck.

      • Eve says:


        Read your comment a waaay too quickly and missed something I really, REALLY, shoulnd’t have: I’m deeply sorry for the loss of your sister, my dear.

        Please, believe me when I say that I know how devastating that is as I have lost one sister to cancer as well (April, 2018) and my mother (decades ago).

        My heart goes out to you.

  11. Seraphina says:

    What a tragic loss. I can’t help think that whenever I see him on film or in pics.
    Just yesterday I was looking at my bills and was like, do I really need Netflix – this just kept the subscription going.

  12. Killfanora says:

    Wonderful tribute……happy tears 👏🏻

  13. Deering24 says:

    1) Wonderful. Arts students at HBCUs are usually way down the list of majors that get scholarships. (As well, they get a lot of flack for not going into more “profitable” careers. 🤬🤬), so this is great to see. Other successful HBCU art/media grads should do this kind of thing.

    2) There are several celebrities whose deaths I’ll never get over because of the sheer unfairness of it. Boseman’s is one. 😭😭😭

    3) To Oya—yep, some HBCUs are crazy-expensive. The only way I got through Hampton was on student loans. And it is a shame, because my cousins’ kids are opting for white colleges like Harvard because they get full-ride scholarships.