George “Kelly” Locklear Jr. always wanted to attend The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, said his sister, Lindarose Locklear.
The George Kelly Locklear Jr. Memorial School will help others do what he could not. A Vietnam veteran, Locklear died at age 57, and his scholarship will help other American Indian vets realize their dreams.
George Locklear Sr., Lindarose Locklear, Donna Payne, University Attorney and chancellor’s chief of staff, Dr. Linda Oxendine, chair American Indian Studies, and Marti Dewees.
“We grew up here and visited the University often, and he always wanted to come to college here,” Lindarose Locklear said. “With this memorial, I figure he’s here now.”
Kelly and his sister Lindarose grew up in the Saddletree area near Lumberton, N.C., and attended Magnolia School. Their father, George Sr. who traveled from Florida for the check presentation, was a career Air Force, so the family lived around the world. Kelley followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Army.
But Pembroke was always home for the family, and it still is.
“My grandmother is still living in the area,” Locklear said. “I come here three times a year. I always think of this as home.”
Professor Locklear earned a Ph.D. from San Diego State University and teaches sociology and American Indian Studies at Palomar College in San Marcos, Calif. She also writes scripts and produces documentary videos.
Also gathering at UNCP was Marti Dewees, a sister who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Elaine Elliott, Kelly Locklear’s widow and a retired teacher, had a hand in funding the scholarship. Elliott and co-workers at Central Gwinett High School in Lawrenceville, Ga., made the first contribution in Kelly’s memory.
The scholarship is perpetual and will be awarded to an American Indian veteran or family members who demonstrate financial need and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.
“I’ve been teaching in higher education for 35 years, so I know that Cs get degrees,” Prof. Locklear said said. “Sometimes students have to work a lot harder to get those “Cs.”
University Attorney and Chief of Staff for the Office of the Chancellor Donna Payne thanked the family.
“On behalf of the University and our students, I would like to thank the family for this generous gift,” Payne said. “Kelly Locklear’s dream of a college education will be realized by many, many young men and women.”
A total of $5,000 will begin the endowment. For information about giving to the George “Kelly” Locklear Jr. Memorial Scholarship, please contact the Office of Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.