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Actor Anthony Anderson has fulfilled a dream 30 years in the making, graduating from Howard University. The 51-year-old received a bachelor of fine arts degree from a historically black university last week.
“To quote Biggie, ‘IT WAS ALL A DREAM!’ Words can’t begin to describe the emotional roller coaster I’m on right now,” Anderson wrote on Instagram, sharing shots from the commencement. “It’s literally been 30 years in the making.”
“This spring, I was finally able to complete the work to graduate from Howard University with a BFA degree from the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts!” Anderson said. The university named its fine arts college after Boseman, who was an alumnus of the school after he died in 2020.
He called it a full-circle moment and reminded his followers, “It’s never too late.” On Monday, Anderson appeared on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and brought his newly earned diploma. He told Corden he finished his junior year at Howard 30 years ago but “ran out of money,” so he took a leave of absence.
Because he started a family and his career took off, he didn’t return to school until his son, Nathan, was accepted at Howard four years ago. That convinced him to go back and finish his degree. He posted that after the commencement, he went out with his son and his friends – who are 21- and 22-year-olds – to celebrate.
In his post, the “Black-ish” actor thanked his son and several others, including actress Phylicia Rashad, the dean of Howard’s college of fine arts. He posted photos of himself with Rashad at the commencement and with Taraji P. Henson, who graduated from the college of fine arts in 1995 and was this year’s commencement speaker.
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Before receiving his diploma, Anderson admits he was “slightly nervous” for commencement day because he worried that “as my name was being called, some school official would come over to me and say, ‘We’re sorry to inform you at this late moment, but you’re one credit short, so we’re not going to be able to let you walk across the stage,’ or that I failed my final exam in one of my classes.”
However, those concerns proved unfounded as the former Black-ish actor graduated with the Class of 2022. “My proudest moment is a sense of completion. Finishing what I started almost 35 years ago,” he explains. “Walking across that stage receiving my degree as my son Nathan watches, who inspired me to return and finish college after he was accepted into Howard University.”
Anderson says his plans to further his education are “up in the air,” but he is considering going to grad school to receive a master’s degree. “I would love to teach eventually,” he says. “Potentially at the collegiate [level] at Howard University. I can already see my name on my office door: ‘Professor Anderson.”
It’s always a blessing to follow your dreams. Anthony Anderson could’ve easily forgotten about his goal to graduate from college, given his successful career. However, with the support of his family and friends, he was able to walk across the stage. It’s a testament to never giving up and finishing what you started.