In a moment of great pride, legendary Tony award-winning actress, Phylicia Rashad, is now looking forward to learning new things through her new role as dean at her alma mater, Howard University.
At 72, a new chapter will chronicle Rashad’s allegiance to art.
Rashad will become dean of the newly reorganized College of Fine Arts at the historic black university.
He explained the importance of art.
“Art has always been present, always has been. What matters to me about art is its transcendent nature. Art is also truly artistic expression that is fundamental to human development. For once a child can stand up, a child dances; and before a child can speak, a child can sing; and before a child can write a word, they draw,” says Phylicia Rashad.
Art, he said, is a fundamental expression of human beings, and art is one’s lens on previous cultures and history.
“If we want to know, where do we go? We go to cave painting. We observe literature. We go to the theater. We go to music. We go there because it is art. Yes, artistic expression. And it becomes a record of human history. Through our art can communicate and see that people have more in common than differences. That’s the reality, it’s really that simple,” he explained.
After a careful national search, Howard University last month announced the appointment of Phylicia Rashad as dean, effective July 1.
“He came back and sat on the board of trustees to give his valuable time and experience in many ways. Now he’s found another way to serve his alma mater. I think that goes to show the fact that once Howard is inside, nothing can get rid of him. I think will be with us for the rest of our lives,” said Dr. Wayne Frederick, President of Howard University.
As dean, Rasyad’s leader is Provost Anthony K. Wutoh. Rashad graduated magna cum laude from Howard University and holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
Rashad admits that the faculty he will lead has many branches of art, but he remains enthusiastic.
“I’m a graduate of the Fine Arts College, I majored in theater, But it’s only one major in one faculty. There’s music, there’s art. Communication will be included. So the spectrum is wide. This is what I mean by new knowledge. I love her because her views are so broad and that it’s a holistic view. I’m very happy about that!” said Phylicia Rashad.
Rashad, an accomplished actress and director, rose to fame when she played Claire Huxtable on the television series “The Cosby Show”. The character with his timeless appeal has earned him a lot of respect and honor for more than two decades.
Her illustrious and wide-ranging career on stage included an appearance as Lena Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun;” August Wilson’s Aunt Esther entitled “Gem of the Ocean;” Witch in Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods;” Violet Weston in Tracey Letts’s “August Osage County;” and as Shelah in Tarrell Alvin McCraney’s “Head of Passes.”
Rashad is one of many Howard University alumni who have reached the pinnacle of their careers, including Vice President Kamala Harris.
In recent years, Rashad has served as guest lecturer and non-permanent lecturer. He teaches classes at the master’s or postgraduate level at many colleges, universities and arts organizations, including Howard University, New York University, Vassar College, Carnegie Mellon, Wayne State University and Juilliard. [my/ka]