A new report in the Cavalier Daily uses newspaper archives and interviews with former students that reveals some of Board of Visitors appointee Bert Ellis’ conduct as a student at the University of Virginia in the 1970s.
Ellis led a student organization that brought prominent white supremacist William Shockley to campus to talk about eugenics and the inferiority of Black people during Black History Month in 1975. Ellis then defended the decision despite the protests of Black student leaders.
More recently, in 2020, Ellis said he knocked on a student’s door and was “prepared to use a small razor blade” to remove part of a sign that criticized the university’s history of enslaving people. UVA ambassadors told him that they would restrain him if he damaged property.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin appointed Ellis to the Board of Visitors, which governs the University, in July. UVA’s Student Council has called for his resignation.