Howard University names alumna Phylicia Rashad dean of newly reestablished College of Fine Arts

Phylicia Rashad, who famously portrayed Claire Huxtable on television's "The Cosby Show," has been named dean of the recently reestablished College of Fine Arts at Howard University.

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Rashad, a Howard University alumna, will begin her role as dean on July 1.

"It is an honor to welcome one of Howard's acclaimed daughters back home to Alma Mater," said Howard's Provost Anthony K. Wutoh in a statement. "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."

Rashad played the role of Claire Huxtable for all eight seasons of "The Cosby Show" from 1984 to 1992. Her more recent roles include appearances on the Fox TV series "Empire" and voicing a character in Pixar's Academy Award-winning animated feature, "Soul."

The Tony Award-winning actress has also had an extensive career on stage. "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," said Rashad in a statement.

"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, M.D., MBA in a statement. "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."