Retired Robeson County Superior Court Judge Gary L. Locklear is the latest person appointed to be a member of UNC Pembroke’s Board of Trustees. The university was notified of the decision on August 16 by Gov. Beverly Purdue, who made the appointment.
Judge Locklear, who will serve a four-year term on the board, is a Pembroke resident and 1970 graduate of UNCP. He studied law at UNC-Chapel Hill and was former chief district court judge for Judicial District 16B in Robeson County. He is currently serving as chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Lumbee Tribe.
Judge Locklear joins Kellie Blue, Dr. Dwight Pearson, Bob Caton and Brian McCormick as new members of UNCP’s Board of Trustees. They were sworn in on August 5.
Chancellor Kyle R. Carter welcomed the new members. “Judge Locklear, Ms. Blue, Dr. Pearson and Mr. Caton are well-respected, wise and talented individuals who will provide excellent counsel, oversight and advocacy,” he said. “Student Trustee Brian McCormick provides excellent insight into student issues.
“I look forward to working with them, the continuing trustees and newly elected chair, Dr. Cummings, to further develop UNC Pembroke’s academic and regional agenda.”
Blue, a 1991 UNCP graduate, is a Pembroke native and the finance director for Robeson County. She was named Outstanding Alumnus in 2009 and served on the Chancellor Search Committee that brought Dr. Kyle R. Carter to the university.
Dr. Pearson is a 1977 UNCP graduate originally from Red Springs. Pearson is a career educator who started as a classroom teacher and finished as a program director in the state Department of Education. He also served on the recent Search Committee.
Caton, a Lumberton resident and former Anheuser-Busch distributor, previously served on the board from 1992-2001 and was instrumental in bringing football back to the university in 2007. The field house is named for him.
In other board news, Dr. Robin Cummings was elected as chair; Dr. Raymond Pennington was elected vice chair, and Dr. Pearson was elected secretary-treasurer to the board.
Dr. Cummings welcomed the newest member to the board. “Judge Locklear is a respected and active member of our community and is a longtime supporter of the university,” he said. “He has had a distinguished career in law, which continues, and is highly regarded by his peers. He will bring a unique talent to the Board of Trustees; likewise Kellie Blue, Dr. Dwight Pearson and Mr. Bob Caton, who are noted community advocates who have already contributed to the growth and success of the university. UNCP will be well-served by these new additions and by the returning trustees.”
Dr. Cummings looked into the future. “UNCP, like all institutions receiving state funding, is facing some very challenging and unique opportunities,” he said. “The Board of Trustees will be committed to working closely with Chancellor Carter and his staff, the faculty and our students to continue to build upon the foundation put in place since the founding of the university almost 125 years ago.
“We will work to maintain access to a quality education in times of changing funding, resources and expectations,” Dr. Cummings continued. “As never before, we will be asked to be creative, to commit our time and talents and to collaborate to find answers to tough questions. I am convinced this board is uniquely qualified to direct and assist in meeting the challenges of the coming year.”