Actress, singer and stage director
Field of Study
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Alumna, trustee, dean of the College of Fine Arts
Quote“Howard University affords not only a structure but a foundation as well, for the human being. As a student you would always feel your connection to the legacy of the institution. You don’t feel a part of that legacy, but in truth you are. From the time you enter, you become a part of this living legacy that is Howard University.”
Phylicia Rashad knew that she would get a “sense of pride” at Howard University. She studied theatre and made her way to New York City, taking her first apprentice role with New York’s pioneering Negro Ensemble Company. Years later she would become a Tony-winning Broadway, film, and television actress, and alumni trustee.Her career paved the way for countless African-American women. Rashad also takes on the roles of director and master class professor. Although she is most known for her award-winning role as “Clair Huxtable” on “The Cosby Show,” her roster runs long, with performances in “Dreamgirls,” “The Wiz,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and most recently, the movie, “Creed,” and the television show, “This is Us” as Howard alumna Susan Kelechi Watson’s mother. She has won several awards, including a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for “A Raisin in the Sun,” two NAACP Image Awards for Best Actress in “The Cosby Show,” and an award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special. She was the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham University, and has received 10 honorary doctorate degrees, including one from her alma mater.