May 26 (UPI) -- Howard University announced Wednesday that it will name its College of Fine Arts after Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman.
The Walt Disney Company's CEO Bob Iger will lead fundraising efforts for a new state-of-the-art facility that will serve as the home for the newly re-established College of Fine Arts that will bear the name of Boseman, a Howard alumnus, who died of cancer last year.
"Chad fought to preserve the College of Fine Arts during his matriculation at Howard and remained dedicated to the fight throughout his career and he would be overjoyed by this development," Boseman's family said in a statement.
Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick said that Boseman led a student protest against the absorption of the College of Fine Arts into the College of Arts & Sciences during his time at the university and "was filled with ideas and plans" to support the effort to re-establish it in early 2018.
"Chadwick's love for Howard University was sincere and although he did not live to see those plans through to fruition, it is my honor to ensure that his legacy lives on through the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts with the support of his wife and the Chadwick Boseman Foundation," Frederick said.
Iger, who will "personally" lead the fundraising effort, praised Boseman for his performances as King T'Challa in the company's Marvel films.
"Through his tremendous example he inspired millions to overcome adversity, dream big and reach beyond the status quo and this College named in his honor at his beloved Howard University will provide opportunities for future generations of artists to follow in his footsteps and pursue their dreams," he said.
Earlier this month, the university announced actress Phylicia Reed, who "trained and mentored" Boseman as a student at Howard will serve as the dean of the College of Fine Arts.