Saturday, December 2, 2023

These people will look into the EVMS yearbook photo scandal

NORFOLK — It was a 1984 yearbook page that started the firestorm that led to both Republicans and Democrats to call for Gov. Ralph Northam’s resignations.

Now, Eastern Virginia Medical School has formed an External Community Advisory Board to look into all of its past yearbooks to determine the processes for publishing those yearbooks and find out if there was any administrative oversight.

The school will also examine its campus culture and provide recommendations for future actions through this advisory board.

The president of Eastern Virginia Medical School said a racist photo that appears in the 1984 student yearbook is “shockingly abhorrent.”

In a statement on the school’s website on Feb. 2, President Richard Homan said the photo of one person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit is “absolutely antithetical” to the school’s principles, morals and values.

Homan also apologized for “past transgressions of your trust.” He said he’ll convene a meeting of leadership and others to address the issue.

The most recent statement released by EVMS Sunday said that following yesterday’s announcement of the creation of the external Community Advisory Board, Homan appointed Gilbert Bland, as chairman of the Community Advisory Group, and Dr. L.D. Britt, the Edward J. Brickhouse chairman in Surgery and the Henry Ford professor of Surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Other members will be announced as appointed over the new few days.

In addition to the External Community Advisory Board, EVMS will be engaging with an outside firm to conduct an objective third-party investigation.

Homan has engaged Richard Cullen, senior partner at McGuire Woods to lead the investigation.

Cullen served as attorney general of Virginia from 1997-1998 and in 1991 George H.W. Bush appointed Cullen U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia where he directed investigations and prosecution of financial institutions and defense contractors.

EVMS did not immediately reply to Southside Daily’s requests for comment.

RELATED STORY: Gov. Northam says that wasn’t him in racist photo

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