Denzel Washington donates $2.25 million to Fordham University

Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, 56, has donated $2.25 million to Fordham University, his alma mater.

According to a statement from the university on Monday, Washington donated $2 million to endow the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre. The other $250,000 will be used to fund a scholarship for a minority undergraduate student currently studying theater at the university.

“Fordham is deeply in Denzel Washington’s debt,” said Roger Milici Jr., vice president for development and university relations at Fordham. “His international reputation and star power will certainly bring greater interest to Fordham programs and greater support for our mission.”

Phylicia Rashad, best known for her role as Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show, has signed on with Fordham University’s faculty as the first Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre position.

Washington cited Bob Stone, a former theater professor at Fordham University, as inspiration.

“Show me a successful individual, and I’ll show you someone who has had positive influences in his or her life,” Washington said in a statement. “I wanted to create the Denzel Washington Endowed Scholarship and Chair in Theatre at Fordham in order to offer the next generation of students positive influences.”

Credit: Associated Press, Crain’s