WASHINGTON (AP) — Famed actor Phylicia Rashad is returning to her alma mater as the new dean of the Howard University College of Fine Arts.

The longtime performer and Tony Award winner, who role to cultural prominence as Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” graduated magna cum laude from Howard with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1970.

Provost Anthony K. Wutoh called the appointment a “full circle moment” and said in a statement that Rashad’s “passion for the arts and student success makes her a perfect fit for this role.”

Rashad’s return to campus represents a reemergence of the fine arts college; the College of Fine Arts was merged into the College of Arts and Sciences in the late 90s. Rashad, in a statement, said it was a “privilege” to play a role in “reestablishing the College of Fine Arts.”

Howard University President Wayne Frederick said that Rashad “will play an instrumental role in ensuring an auspicious beginning for this reestablished institution.”

Howard Fine Arts alumni include actors Taraji P. Henson and the late Chadwick Boseman, as well as Bradford Young, the first Black cinematographer to be nominated for an Oscar for 2017′s “Arrival.”

Rashad won the 2004 Tony award for best actress in a play for her role in “A Raisin in the Sun.” Her sister, actor, dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen, is also a Howard alum.


This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Chadwick Boseman’s last name.