Monday, March 4, 2024

These people will look into the EVMS yearbook photo scandal

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 in Norfolk 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 university 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

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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