On February 25, Harold B. Locklear, surrounded by family members, endowed a scholarship at UNC Pembroke to honor his late wife, Laura Faye.
Locklear, who started life working dawn to dusk in tobacco and cotton fields in the nearby Prospect community, said “I never dreamed I could help the school this way.
“I’ve come from the bottom up,” he said. “As a student here, I couldn’t even afford to eat.”
It was a winding road that brought the 1972 UNCP graduate to this place, and the University played a role in it.
“This school has come a long way from the small place when I started,” Locklear said. “When I was here, I knew the names of all the students and faculty.”
Locklear remembered that high school locally started around Thanksgiving because all hands were needed in the fields. Getting out of the cotton fields at dark, he didn’t pick up a book until long after nightfall.
Out of high school, Locklear started college but joined the Marines before finishing. In the military, he saw a lot of the world and Vietnam too.
While still a Marine in 1967, he married his sweetheart, Laura Faye Lowry, who graduated in 1966 and was beginning a teaching career. When Locklear returned to college, the G.I. Bill made it more affordable.
“If it hadn’t been for this University, I wouldn’t be where I am,” he said. “I have to thank James B. Chavis for helping me graduate.”
Locklearhad a degree in art education and a newfound love of art. He worked at Robeson Community College and Lumbee Regional Development Association before beginning a teaching career in the public schools.
He taught art in all corners of the county, while his wife, Laura Faye, also taught and helped him raise a family of four, three of whom are college graduates. Art, Avery and Una attended the check presentation with their father in support of his establishing the scholarship in their mother’s name. Another daughter, Antonia Maria Clark, could not attend but was there in spirit.
“I think Laura Faye would approve of this,” Locklear said of his wife who died in 2004. “It’s something I always dreamed about doing for her.”
University officials also approved of a scholarship for students who need help just as Locklear did.
“We appreciate what you are doing for our students,” Chancellor Kyle R. Carter said. “Many of our students need extra help to graduate, so this is welcome news.”
Teresa Oxendine, assistant vice chancellor for Advancement, was already acquainted with the family.
“I was in Laura Faye’s first class after she graduated from college,” Oxendine said. “She was a very good and fair teacher. It was special to me to be the one to have the privilege to work with her family to establish this in her memory.”
“Scholarship assistance is vital to our students and their success,” she concluded, and we are very grateful to the Locklear Family for their generosity.
For information about this or other scholarships at UNCP, please contact the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.