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Howard University has named actor and stage director Phylicia Rashad as Dean of its recently established College of Fine Arts.
Rashad, who is an alumna of the University, will report to Provost Anthony K. Wutoh when she begins the role on July 1.
“It is an honor to welcome one of Howard’s acclaimed daughters back home to Alma Mater,” said Wutoh in a statement. “In this full circle moment, Ms. Phylicia Rashad will take the training and skills that she honed as a student at Howard and exuded in an outstanding performing career, and she will share those pearls of wisdom with the next generation of students in the College of Fine Arts. Her passion for the arts and student success makes her a perfect fit for this role.”
Rashad’s television credits include The Cosby Show, This is Us and Empire, as well as the Netflix holiday movie Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey. She has been nominated for five Primetime Emmys, most recently in 2020 for This is Us. Meanwhile, voiced characters in Pixar’s Soul and animated series The Cleveland Show.
On stage, Rashad has performed in August Wilson’s A Gem of the Ocean, Stephen Soldheim’s Into the Woods and Tracey Letts’ August Osage County, among numerous other plays. Her directing credits include The Roommate at Steppenwolf Theatre and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum.
“It is a privilege to serve in this capacity and to work with the Howard University administration, faculty and students in reestablishing the College of Fine Arts,” said Rashad, who won a Tony Award in 2004 for A Raisin in the Sun and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2016.
“I can think of no individual better suited to take on this role than Ms. Phylicia Rashad,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA.”As we reintroduce our campus community and the world at large to Howard’s College of Fine Arts, the dean will play an instrumental role in ensuring an auspicious beginning for this reestablished institution. Given Ms. Rashad’s reputation as well as her capabilities and impressive list of accomplishments, she will undoubtedly empower the college to transcend even our incredibly high expectations. Under her leadership, Howard will continue to inspire and cultivate the artists and leaders who will shape our niche and national cultures for generations to come.”
In the field of education, the actor has previously served as a guest lecturer at many institutions including New York University, Vasser College, Julliard and The Black Arts Institute of the Stella Adler School of Acting.
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