Endowment to help Locklear ‘pay it forward’ at UNCP

December 21, 2013

Stacy Locklear Sr. was a true believer, and as a career educator and family patriarch, he encouraged others to join him in his passion for education and his university.

Locklear’s family recently honored him by establishing an endowed scholarship in his name at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. A 1962 graduate of Pembroke State College, Locklear passed away in February 2011.

The $10,000 endowment will yield an annual scholarship for a science education major.

Stacy Sr. grew up in the Saddletree community of Robeson County and his wife, the former Betty Chavis, grew up in the Wakulla community. Like many great families in Robeson County, education and UNCP were major factors in their success through several generations. Betty Locklear’s mother, Jesse Belle, was a 1936 graduate and career teacher.

Stacy Locklear Sr. spent most of his 35-year career as a high school science teacher, according to his wife, who is also a career educator and 1972 graduate.

“Stacy was real proud of the university, and he encouraged others to go to college,” Betty Locklear said. “He encouraged me too. I had been out of high school for a while with three children and a job. My husband said, ‘go,’ and we would work it out somehow.”

By establishing a scholarship to make it possible for others to get an education, a family’s legacy comes full circle, said Wendy Lowery, vice chancellor for Advancement.

“When a family such as this one, makes a commitment to ensure that they will do whatever necessary to send their children to college, we as a university must do all we can to help them reach their goals,” Lowery said. “The Locklear family exemplifies the concept of ‘paying it forward,’ and we are committed to ensuring that their investment will honor the legacy of Stacy Locklear, Sr. and his support of higher education.”

After graduating in 1972, Locklear taught for 30 years. The children followed in their parents footsteps to college, and like the next generation of UNCP graduates, they have found success in diverse professional careers. Nan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and became a pharmacist. Stacy Jr. enrolled at UNCP, majoring in chemistry and joining ROTC.

“In ROTC, Stacy Jr. found himself,” his mother said. “He retired last June from the Air Force as a colonel.”

Stacy Jr. has already returned to school to launch a second career.

“He’s in nursing school,” Betty Locklear said. “He’s done very well, and he’s got a plan. Nursing is a wide open field.”

Stacy Sr. retired in 1998 and Betty in 2001. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with the family before Stacy Sr. passed away.

The Stacy Locklear Sr. Endowed Scholarship is the second time the Locklears have honored a family member with a permanent legacy at UNCP. In 2005, they established the Stacy Ryan Locklear Endowed Scholarship for Stacy Jr.’s late son.

To learn more about the Stacy Locklear Sr. Endowed Scholarship or other scholarships at UNCP, please contact the Office of Advancement at (910) 521-6252 or email

Scott Bigelow is the public information officer at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.