By Leah Asmelash, CNN
(CNN) – Two decades ago, Chadwick Boseman graduated from Howard University with a degree from the College of Fine Arts. Now, that school will bear his name.
Howard University announced Wednesday that its newly reestablished College of Fine Arts will be named for the actor, one of its most famous alumni, as the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.
When Boseman attended Howard, the school decided to integrate the College of Fine Arts into the College of Arts & Sciences, to the chagrin of Boseman and other students, the university said. In 2018, the university announced its plans to reestablish the school.
“Chadwick’s love for Howard University was sincere, and although he did not live to see those plans through to fruition, it is my honor to ensure his legacy lives on through the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts with the support of his wife and the Chadwick Boseman Foundation,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick in a statement.
The college isn’t just getting a new name — Bob Iger, executive chairman of the Walt Disney Company — is also set to fundraise for a new building and endowment for the college. Among his numerous other roles, Boseman was known for playing King T’Challa in Disney’s “Black Panther,” which broke box office records when it was released in 2018.
“Chad fought to preserve the College of Fine Arts during his matriculation at Howard and remained dedicated to the fight throughout his career, and he would be overjoyed by this development,” the Boseman family said in a statement. “His time at Howard University helped shape both the man and the artist that he became, committed to truth, integrity, and a determination to transform the world through the power of storytelling.
“Actress and singer Phylicia Rashad, known most commonly for her work on “The Cosby Show,” is set to be the dean of the college, the university announced earlier this month.
Boseman died last August at 43 years old, following a four-year struggle with colon cancer. A beloved figure, his death sent shockwaves throughout the country. The South Carolina native graduated from Howard in 2000.