Tony-award winning actress, Phylicia Rashad, will depart from Howard University next year after serving as dean of the Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts since 2021.
“Dean Rashad has held a longstanding commitment to arts education and literacy; having served as adjunct faculty, master instructor, and guest artist/lecturer and administrator at several colleges,” Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick wrote in a statement.
The Cosby Show matriarch has been a force on television and on Broadway. She’s appeared in several musical productions including Jelly’s Last Jam, Into the Woods, Dreamgirls and The Wiz.
Rashad is the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham University. She is also the inaugural holder of the Toni Morrison Endowed Chair in Arts and Humanities at Howard University.
In 2021, Rashad became the dean of the College of Fine Arts at the historically Black college. She also graduated magna cum laude from Howard University in 1970.
“Dean Rashad returned to alma mater to lead the reestablishment of the College of Fine Arts as an independent college and to restore it to its rightful place as the center for arts and creativity at Howard University,” the president wrote.
Throughout Rashad’s administration, contributions to fine arts programming at Howard University increased significantly. Donations include Netflix’s $5.4 million gift to establish The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship, which provides incoming theater students with a four-year scholarship to cover the full price of tuition.
“Dean Rashad has also bolstered our esteemed faculty with the appointment of nationally and internationally recognized scholars, artists and creatives to serve as department chairs, mentors, teachers and role models for our students,” the statement reads, announcing that the school will begin a decanal search for a new dean soon.