Kwaku Alston/ABC Anthony Anderson
Anthony Anderson is a Howard grad!
The former Black-ish actor, 51, earned his diploma from Howard University in Washington DC on Saturday. Anderson celebrated the exciting moment on Sunday with an Instagram post, in which he called his graduation “a full circle moment” that was “30 years in the making.”
He also shared several photos from the big day, including one with fellow actor and Howard grad, Taraji P. Henson, who delivered the commencement address at the ceremony, and Phylicia Rashad, the current Dean of Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.
“To quote Biggie, ‘IT WAS ALL A DREAM!'” Anderson began his post. “Words can’t begin to describe the emotional roller coaster [sic] I’m on right now. 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! Yesterday was a full circle moment,” he continued. “It’s never too late! Things happen when they’re supposed to happen!”
Finishing his post, Anderson gave a shoutout to Rashad, Dr. Wayne Fredrick, Dean Denise Saunders Thomas and Courtney Bless Long for their help along the way.
“It takes a village. Thank you to my son @hotboynato for inspiring me to return to school to finish my degree after he was accepted into Howard University. This is just the beginning! HU” he concluded.
Anderson also added several hashtags, including “#justakidfromcompton #huskyandhandsome #bigzaddy #collegegraduate #howard #howarduniversity #howardgrad #HU #bison”
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Anderson previously spoke about his plans to graduate during a 2018 interview with Jimmy Fallon, where he also revealed that he initially dropped out due to financial reasons.
“I was paying for college myself, and I ran out of money after my junior year,” Anderson explained. “I’ve been speaking to the university… about creating a curriculum that I can take online, and at home, and do some practical classes on campus so I can walk with my son [Nathan] in 2022.”
“So I have four years to finish one year of college,” he added.
In February, during an appearance on The RealAnderson revealed that while he was just 15 credits away from graduating, he wouldn’t get to do so alongside his son.
“I am going to finish this spring,” he proudly shared on the talk show. “My degree will be in Fine Arts. I was a theater major while I was at HU and had to leave after my junior year because I ran out of money. And a few years ago, my son got accepted to Howard University and he inspired me to go back and get my degree.”
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“I thought we were gonna walk together in 2022 but real life happens,” he continued. “Just like it happened to me, I had to withdraw after my junior year, real life happened with my son, so unfortunately, we won’t be walking together but hopefully he’ll be walking soon.”
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Anderson’s graduation comes a few weeks after he said goodbye to his longtime role as Dre Johnson on ABC’s Black-ish.
The hit sitcom followed the Johnson family, a Black family who aims to get in touch with their cultural roots after moving into a wealthy and predominately white community. It ran for eight seasons, from September 2014 until this past April.
Ahead of the series finale, Anderson penned a heartfelt tribute on social media to commemorate his time on the show. Sharing a clip from the episode, Anderson wrote beside it, “Tonight marks the end of an era that has made such a monumental mark in not only my life… but also in my co-stars, the team at ABC, staff & crew and all of the guest stars that we have had on this show as well!”
Continuing, the actor noted that “what this show has done and shown for the culture and African American families… really all American families overall, will never be forgotten.”
“I am humbly honored…” he added. “Emotions are running the full gammet [sic] from joy, pride, sadness… Adoration and more! #Blackish is truly and forever will be one of my profainly [sic] proudest moments.”
The actor also spoke about the unapologetic nature of the series to PEOPLE. “That’s what made our show appealing,” he said. “And with the worldwide audience, wanting to better ourselves and live the American dream and have the best for all of our family, that’s what it was all about.”