Monday morning College of William and Mary President Katherine Rowe announced that Gov. Ralph Northam would not be part of the school’s Charter Day activities, including her official inauguration.
The action was in response to a picture on Northam’s medical school yearbook page, featuring a man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan costume. While Northam apologized for the photo on Friday, on Saturday he contradicted his original statement and said he was not in the photos.
However, Rowe said the behavior depicted in the photo was against William and Mary’s core values.
“Under the circumstances, it has become clear that the Governor’s presence would fundamentally disrupt the sense of campus unity we aspire to and hope for with this event,” Rowe wrote in a prepared statement. “We have conferred with the governor’s office, and he will not be part of Friday’s program.”
Northam was scheduled to give brief remarks including a “Greetings from the Commonwealth” address, William and Mary spokeswoman Suzanne Clavet said in an email.
“We are discussing options for someone else to fill that role in the program,” Clavet said.