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OTRC: Denzel Washington donates over $2 million to Fordham University

Denzel Washington appears in a still from his 2006 film, 'Deja Vu.' (Touchstone Pictures / Ron Phillips)

Denzel Washington donated over $2 million to Fordham University for a new scholarship for undergraduate theatre majors and to a Chair in Theatre position, which will be held by Tony-winning actress Phylicia Rashad.

"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," The actor, who graduated from Fordham in 1977 said in a statement. "Phylicia Rashad, as the inaugural holder of the chair, will provide the care, compassion and that extra push to help take students where they're meant to go."

The Associated Press reports that Washington's $2 million endowment will go towards the chair member's salary, which will be a rotating position. Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," has begun teaching an acting course at Fordham entitled, "Creating a Character."

An additional $250,000 will establish the Denzel Washington Endowed Scholarship, to support minority undergraduates in the University's theatre program.

Washington earned two Academy Awards for his roles in the 1989 film "Glory" and the 2001 film "Training Day."

The 56-year-old actor has also appeared in "Unstoppable," "Deja Vu," "The Book of Eli," "The Bone Collector," "Philadelphia" and "The Pelican Brief."

Washington will next appear opposite Ryan Reynolds and Vera Farmiga in "Safe House," which is slated for release on February 10, 2012.

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