EVMS forms panel to investigate past yearbooks after Northam controversy

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The president of Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) is calling for an external investigation into the school’s past yearbooks amid the scandal surrounding Gov. Ralph Northam.

President Richard Homan said over the weekend that a diverse community advisory board has been created to look into how past yearbooks were published as well as any administrative oversight that may have happened.

Homan has also called on Richard Cullen, a senior partner at  the McGuireWoods law firm, to conduct an objective third-party investigation.

In addition, EVMS is scheduled to hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the investigation into student yearbook photos.

These announced measures come as a response to a racist photo from Northam’s 1984 EVMS yearbook that surfaced on Friday. The photo shows someone in blackface and another person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.

Homan called the photo “shockingly abhorrent” in a statement issued Saturday morning, stating that the school shares “the outrage, alarm and sadness voiced by our alumni, the press and many on social media.”

David Arias, the rector of the EVMS Board of Visitors, stated Sunday that the board “is committed to discovering quickly how unacceptable photos such as these came to be published in the past.”

Gilbert Bland, CEO of the Giljoy Group in Norfolk, has been named the chair of EVMS’ newly-formed advisory board.

Northam first admitted he was in the picture, and then denied it over the weekend. Many elected officials in the Commonwealth and across the country have called for the governor to resign in the days since the photo was published online.

On Monday, Northam quietly met with top administration officials, but gave no public signal that he intends to step down despite the mounting pressure to resign.

Meanwhile, William & Mary president Katherine Rowe announced Northam will no longer be a part of the college’s upcoming Charter Day events. The weekend events will include Rowe’s official innauguration as the college’s first female president.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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