COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus-based architectural firm Moody Nolan is celebrating its 40th year in business, leading the way in design with projects throughout central Ohio and the country.

Now, the company has been tapped to lead an effort honoring actor Chadwick Boseman, who died two years ago, with a project in Washington D.C.

This weekend also marks the release of “Wakanda Forever,” the second “Black Panther” film from Marvel Studios. It’s been four years since Boseman brought the character to life. Boseman died in 2020 after a battle with colon cancer.

“When the original ‘Black Panther’ film was released a few years ago, it became a source of tremendous pride in the African American community, a symbol of Black excellence,” said Renauld Mitchell, a partner with Moody Nolan, the largest African American-owned firm in the country.

Like Boseman, Mitchell is a Howard University alumnus.

“This is a full-circle moment for me, to give back to a place that gave me so much,” Mitchell said. “It’s where I learned my craft, it’s where I met my wife.”

Moody Nolan has led designs at colleges and universities throughout the country, and is about to take on a project a Howard University — The Center for Fine Arts and Communications, which will house “The Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.”

 “We’re just proud to be part of it and do a project that ties into somebody like him and we are going to work like crazy to honor him,” said Curtis Moody, founder of the firm.

“What the movie does to give context to the project and so many conversations, Black people exist in the future, but that is becoming a core premise that is beginning to become a driver of this Afro-futuristic mindset,” said Jonathan Moody, president and CEO of the firm, and Curtis Moody’s son.

“This was an opportunity that was certainly on our radar,” Mitchell said. “So, we were fortunate to be selected by the University.”

“I told my team, I told my Renauld, this has to be a special building,” Curtis Moody said. “This can’t just be another building on the campus. This has to be something special and we’re going to work like crazy to make that happen.”

Moody Nolan isn’t working on the project alone. It will work with DC-based partner KGD.

“Part of what we’re excited about is we’re talking about the challenge of saying, we’re talking the future of Howard University students who are reflecting on the legacy of Chadwick Boseman,” Jonathan Moody said.

The team is getting feedback from the campus community and will include some of those ideas in the project. The first phase of the project is set to be finished by July 2025.