Phylicia Rashad, the Tony Award winning stage and television actress, has been hired by Fordham University to head the school's Denzel Washington Endowed Scholarship, after the Hollywood actor donated $2 million to the school, reports the New York Times.
The professorship is looking to attract well-known actors, directors, playwrights and designers to rotate the senior position - with former 'Cosby Show' star Rashad first to take up the position. Washington began studying journalism at Fordham before switching to theatre and graduating in 1977. Matthew Maguire, director of the school's theatre program, said the actor was keen to rotate the working professional so students, "could get four different luminaries teaching in their training courses during each of their four years here". He also explained the interest from Denzel's generous $2 million gift would cover the salary of each professor, but declined to reveal exact figures. Washington, currently shooting the drama movie 'Flight' with John Goodman, has earned critical acclaim both on the stage and screen. He scooped the Tony Award for Best Actor in 2010 for his performance in the Broadway revival of 'Fences'. He is also the winner of two Academy Awards, with five nominations in total.
Rashad last starred in Tyler Perry's film adaptation of 'For Colored Girls', alongside an ensemble cast that included Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Thandie Newton and LORETTA DEVINE.