Phylicia Rashad on new role as Dean at Howard Univ

In a full-circle moment, legendary actress Phylicia Rashad tells The Associated Press she's looking forward to learning new things at 72 by taking on a fresh role as a dean at her alma mater, Howard University. (May 25)

Video Transcript

PHYLICIA RASHAO: What is important to me about the arts is the transcendent nature. And also that arts are really artistic expression is fundamental to human development. Because as soon as a child can stand, a child is dancing, and before a child can speak, the child can sing, and before a child can write a single word, they draw a picture. Arts are fundamental to human expression and arts are our lens into previous cultures and history.

I'm a graduate of the College of Fine Arts. I majored in theater, you know but that's just one department. There's music, there's art, communications will be brought in. Yes, it's broad, the spectrum is broad. So this is what I mean by new knowledge. I love it that is such a wide view, that is such a spherical outlook and in-look. Yeah, I'm excited about that.

- You know our Motors truth and service and I think as you heard Dean Rashao say earlier on, she never really left Howard University. And I don't think any of us ever leave Howard University. As alumni we keep coming back in some way, whether it's supporting those around us or lifting up our communities. So students come here now to get a degree to come to get an education. And that education comes alive when they go out and serve the world and present their education to others. And so that is our mantra and that's what I think the lived experience is.

So Dean Rashao was right. She was coming back here to teach. She came back and served on the board of trustees to give a good time and a treasure, in so many ways. And now she's found a different way to serve out my mind. And I think that all speaks to the fact that once Howard gets in you, there's no getting rid of it.

PHYLICIA RASHAO: Oh, they will learn this in the course of their studies. I'm of a mind to acquire knowledge until I'm done and I'm not done yet.