Jerry Blakemore, UNCG’s general counsel, will receive the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) on June 25. The award honors individuals who have served NACUA and institutions of higher learning and who have made extraordinary contributions to the work of the association.
“Jerry Blakemore is one of NACUA’s most highly respected and much beloved leaders and members,” said association president Kathleen C. Santora. “The Distinguished Service Award certainly recognizes his outstanding service to NACUA and to the higher education community, but it also recognizes his serving as a model of NACUA’s values — quality, service, civility, collegiality, diversity, inclusiveness and respect.”
Blakemore has over 25 years of experience in higher education administration and policy development. Before coming to UNCG in December of 2016, he was vice president and general counsel to the Office of the General Counsel at Northern Illinois University, where he helped shape policies on a variety of issues relevant to college campuses. Blakemore also mentored law students at NIU.
Prior to his position at NIU, he was the chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. He is a graduate of Princeton University and earned his juris doctorate at John Marshall Law School. He was the 1976 recipient of the Princeton University Frederick Douglas Service Award for his community service and believes service is an essential part of education.
At UNCG Blakemore works in many areas of policy development crucial to the safety, diversity and efficiency of the campus. Recently, he facilitated professional development for UNCG Athletics that concerns the exercise of First Amendment rights.
“We’d like to make sure the university is not only in compliance with, but encouraging First Amendment rights,” he said.
He will continue his work with NACUA and the U.S. departments of Justice and Education on Title IX issues and the Violence Against Women Act. He is also chair of the Board Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusiveness of NACUA, and a member of the Finance Committee.
Blakemore is dedicated to university law, and has found that it fits his desire for collaboration and public service.
“I enjoy working around the table as opposed to across the table,” he said. “I like to sit down and talk about challenges or issues, and look to see how we can work it out.”
By Susan Kirby-Smith