Gina Calabro, a veteran attorney of 20-plus years who has represented Campbell University as outside counsel for the past five, has been named general counsel, Executive Vice President John Roberson announced this week.
Calabro has served as counsel and shareholder for Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart since 2015, concentrating her practice on discrimination and harassment matters, wage and hour claims and noncompetition and trade secret litigation. She is an experienced litigator who has represented employers before federal and state courts, numerous government agencies and arbitration panels.
“Ms. Calabro brings from her years of private practice with colleges and universities a comprehensive understanding of the myriad legal issues in contemporary higher education,” Roberson said. “She has substantial experience advising higher education clients in matters related to employment, faculty affairs, students, compliance, contracts, and many other critically important areas of the law as it applies to universities.
“I am confident Gina will serve our University well as she transforms the Office of General Counsel.”
Calabro succeeds Bob Cogswell — who led the office for over 20 years until 2020, serving under three presidents and seeing the University through enormous growth and expansion during that time — and Dayton Cole, who has served as interim general counsel since October.
Calabro said she believes the role of a university’s general counsel is to provide strategic legal advice — including proactive professional advice on critical legal and public policy issues — while taking into account the whole university and its stakeholders. She said she was drawn to the role at Campbell because of her work over the past five years serving as an outside counsel while at Ogletree Deakins.
“What I have learned over the past five years is that the Campbell University community consists of many people who care deeply about the University and its mission,” she said. “The University has a rich history, but at the same time is looking to the future and seeking ways to be innovative in higher education while honoring the past. I look forward to being part of the Campbell community and getting to know better the people who make the University a leader in higher education.”
A 1987 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Calabro earned her law degree from DePaul University’s College of Law in 1993. The first 20 years of Calabro’s career was based mostly in the Chicago area before she joined Ogletree Deakins’ Raleigh office in 2015. She became a shareholder in 2019.
She said her work on a variety of legal matters like Title IX, staff and faculty employment issues and free speech issues has prepared her for her new role at Campbell.
“On a daily basis, I pivot from one issue to the next, helping clients deal with immediate issues, as well as strategizing about long-term and often complex legal matters,” she said. “I believe this ability to effectively manage legal issues on a variety of topics as they arise will serve me well as general counsel.”