Phylicia Rashad is a Tony-award-winning actress and the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham University. Also, she is the inaugural holder of the Toni Morrison Endowed Chair in Arts and Humanities at Howard University.
In 2021, she was appointed as the dean of the Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University and her alma mater. Fast forward to 2023, and Rashad is stepping down as the dean of the college.
“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 president continued, “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 statement acknowledged her significant contributions to fine arts programming at Howard University. She helped secure a Netflix contribution of $5.4 million to establish The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is designed to provide incoming theater students with a four-year scholarship to cover the full price of tuition, according to NBC Washington.
Her stay at Howard has not been without controversy. She caused a massive uproar when she tweeted her support for former costar Bill Cosby when his sexual assault conviction was overturned. The school eventually reprimanded her.
Rashad hit the limelight when she was featured in The Cosby Show as Claire Huxtable. Her role eventually earned her two Emmy nominations. She also got two Primetime Emmy nominations for her role as Carol on NBC’s This Is Us in the guest actress drama series category.
Some of her recent TV credits include the Fox series Empire, David Makes Man on the OWN Network, and Between the World and Me, among others.