UNC Pembroke Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings and platform guests were forced to do a double-take as identical twins Kelsey and Kyria Locklear crossed the stage, receiving matching degrees during Fall Commencement.
The Locklear twins have caused people to see double their whole lives, from their childhood years in Red Springs on the softball diamond in high school and throughout their time pursuing degrees in exercise and sport science at UNCP.
Taking classes together which posed a fun challenge for their classmates and professors, but as twins who share a close bond, Kelsey and Kyria were grateful for the opportunity to experience college life together.
“It was comforting being able to have somebody every step of the way who could help you with anything I didn’t understand,” Kelsey said. “Having someone to confide in, study with and go through any tough situation was priceless. I loved going through my journey of graduating from college with my twin. We shared so many laughs and tears together. Being able to graduate with the same degree is a huge stepping-stone because now we get to work in our chosen field together.”
As identical twins, the Locklear sisters have similarities that go beyond their looks. They share a love for sports, sport bikes, shopping and riding four wheelers. They live together and drive the same model Dodge Charger. And for the past two years, they’ve worked alongside one another as package handlers at FedEx.
The Locklears transferred to UNCP in 2018 from North Carolina Central University, where they earned scholarships to play softball. At UNCP, they studied exercise physiology and both worked in the equipment room at the Jones Center.
When they are not working, the two are studying for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) exam. They plan to enroll in the Occupational Therapy program at Winston-Salem State University, with the goal of pursuing careers in a rehabilitation center setting.
“My experience at UNCP was amazing,” Kyria said. “Being a part of a diverse institution–I enjoyed it. With our dad working on campus, we had a family connection, and we had several family members and friends who attended here as well.”
Kelsey said they owe their early success to the unwavering support from their parents–Nakuma Locklear and Sharron McLean–along with encouragement from other family, friends and former high school teachers.
“It was tough at times, but we stuck by each other. We never gave up. It was a great experience,” Kelsey said.