WASHINGTON D.C. (WJZ) — Actress Phylicia Rashad on Wednesday has been named the dean of the College of Fine Arts at Howard University following a national search.

Rashad’s appointment is effective July 1. A Howard alumna, she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

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“It is an honor to welcome one of Howard’s acclaimed daughters back home to Alma Mater. 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,” said Anthony K. Wutoh, the university’s provost to whom Rashad will report.

Rashad is known for her television roles as Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show, Carol on “This Is Us,” Diana Dubois on “Empire,” Dr. Woods-Trap in “David Makes Man,” as well as Libba Gardner in the animated feature film “Soul,” Grandmother Journey in the Netflix musical “Jingle Jangle” and Dr. Jones in HBO Max’s “Between the World and Me.”

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Rashad also has several stage credits, including Lena Younger in “A Raisin in the Sun,” Aunt Ester in “Gem of the Ocean,” the Witch in “Into the Woods,” Violet Weston in “August Osage County,” and Shelah in “Head of Passes.”

“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.

She also has served as a guest lecturer and adjunct faculty member, teaching master’s level arts classes at Howard University, New York University, Vassar College, Carnegie Mellon, Wayne State University, Juilliard, The Black Arts Institute of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the prestigious Ten Chimneys Foundation established at the Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne Estate. She also holds the distinction of being the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theater at Fordham University.

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“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. “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.”

CBS Baltimore Staff