Two-time Academy Award winning actor Denzel Washington has donated $2 million to his alma mater, Fordham University in New York.

The donation will be used to establish the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre. Cosby Show actress Phylicia Rashad will head the programme.

Washington also donated a gift of $250,000 for a scholarship for an undergraduate theatre student

In a statement on the university’s website, the Training Day actor said that he was inspired by his professor, the late Bob Stone and that he "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."

He placed his full confidence in Rashad to "provide the care, compassion and that extra push to help take students where they’re meant to go."

Washington, who graduated from Fordham in 1977, won the best actor Tony Award in 2010 for his role in Fences. He has been nominated for an Academy Award five times, winning for his supporting role in Glory and his lead role in Training Day.