Decades before he would find fame playing T’Challa in Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman was just another student at T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, South Carolina. He graduated in 1995 and now, in the wake of his tragic death at 43, the school wants to honor its most famous alumnus with a scholarship named after him.
Principal Walter Mayfield, himself a T.L. Hanna alum, is trying to create a sustainable scholarship with an initial goal of raising $100,000. He says that people have already been reaching out about contributing to the school in Boseman’s honor, so he is optimistic that once it’s publicized the school will be able to meet its goal easily.
Once funded, the scholarship will be awarded annually to a deserving student. Mayfield wants to collaborate with Boseman’s family to come up with the selection criteria.
But the scholarship isn’t the only way Boseman is being honored. Hanna basketball coach Wayne Jones, who coached Boseman, wants to retire the number, 32, that Boseman wore as a member of the varsity team for four years. His would be the first number retired in school history.
The city of Anderson will hold its own tribute to Boseman this week, a combination art show, memorial service, and screening of Black Panther at an outdoor amphitheater in town that will be filled to half capacity.
There is also a petition circulating to replace a Confederate monument in downtown Anderson with a statue of the actor. It already has nearly 50,000 signatures.