Phylicia Rashad to serve as dean of Howard’s College of Fine Arts

The actress and HU alumna will begin her new role in July

Actress Phylicia Rashad is taking on a new role.

She is now the dean of the College of Fine Arts at Howard University. Rashad is an alumna who graduated magna cum laude from the university in 1970 with a bachelor’s in fine arts. The institution made the announcement on Wednesday.

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“It is an honor to welcome one of Howard’s acclaimed daughters back home to Alma Mater,” said provost Anthony K. Wutoh in a press release.

“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 will report to Wutoh. She starts on July 1.

Celebrities Visit SiriusXM - January 13, 2020
Phylicia Rashad visits SiriusXM Studios on January 13, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

“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.

He continued, “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.”

Rashad is known for her talents behind and in front of the camera.

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She played Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992. She then went on to other roles such as Diana Dubois on the Fox TV series Empire, Libba Gardner in Pixar’s Academy Award-winning animated feature, Soul, and Dr. Jones in Between the World and Me on HBO Max, among others.

She also has credits as a stage director and has performed on Broadway in shows including Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, and August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean.

Rashad was the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theater at Fordham University. She has also been an adjunct faculty guest lecturer at prominent schools and universities including New York University, Vassar College, Howard University, Wayne State University, Juilliard and The Black Arts Institute of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

“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,” Rashad said.

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