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Student Group Questions New Role of UR Trustee

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After controversy surrounding homophobic remarks made by University of Richmond trustee Paul Queally, a campus LGTBQ group is questioning his inclusion on the committee to select the university's next president.

Queally, a 1986 alumnus, has donated nearly $20 million to UR since becoming a Wall Street investment banker. There were calls for his removal from the board of trustees in February when a reporter released jokes Queally made, considered sexist and homophobic, at a Wall Street fraternity's initiation ceremony. The campus newspaper later published a Facebook post in which Queally used a homophobic slur.

Queally issued several statements disavowing those views, and Board of Trustees Rector Charles A. Ledsinger Jr. issued a statement reaffirming "the commitment of each of [the board of trustees] members to promoting inclusivity, civility and respect."

On June 2, Ledsinger named Queally among the 19 people who will select the successor to President Ed Ayers, who is resigning at the end of the next school year.

Erik Lampmann, who graduated in 2014 and worked with LGBTQ student group Common Ground, says he's dismayed by the university's decision. He says he spent his last months on campus fighting against Queally's continued influence.

"He's made me have to defend my own dignity time and time again," Lampmann says. "I'm at a loss as to how to evaluate the situation."

Ted Lewis, the university's associate director for LGBTQ campus life, says his office shares those concerns.

"[Queally's] comments stung," Lewis writes in an email. "As a university community, we've not yet healed from that. But we will."

Queally hasn't responded to a request for comment.

Ledsinger didn't respond directly to Style's questions about Queally's inclusion, but says he selected the committee to represent diverse views.

In an email, Ledsinger writes: "All members are outstanding contributors who bring important, diverse, and thoughtful perspectives to the process and share a deep commitment to the University's values and to recruiting the best possible new leader for the University."

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