Howard University Fine Arts Dean Phylicia Rashad Announces Retirement

Phylicia Rashad, dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at historically Black Howard University, has announced her retirement effective at the conclusion of this academic year.

Rashad, a Howard University alumna, has an over four-decades-long career in the entertainment industry. She is best known for her role as Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show. In 2004, she became the first Black woman to win the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her role in A Raisin in the Sun. She has also been nominated for and won multiple NAACP Image Awards, among other accolades.

In 2021, Rashad became dean of Howard University’s College of Fine Arts, and oversaw the college’s renaming in honor of the late actor, Chadwick Boseman. She currently holds the title of Toni Morrison Endowed Chair in the Arts and Humanities. Prior to her tenure with Howard University, Rashad was named the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham University in New York. She has held teaching appointments at many institutions across the country including New York University, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, The Black Arts Institute of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York, and the Ten Chimneys Foundation.

Rashad is a magna cum laude graduate of Howard University where she received a bachelor of fine arts degree. She has received honorary doctorates from Brown University, historically Black Spelman College in Atlanta, and the University of South Carolina.

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