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Friday, September 9, 2005

UNCP grad establishes an Air Force ROTC scholarship

Stacy Locklear Jr. was like a lot of students headed for college.

“I was really unsure what I wanted to do,” Locklear said. “I went with my dad to the Air Force ROTC recruiter’s office, and we sat down and talked.”

Family gathers for Stacy Ryan Locklear ROTC Scholarship – Back row from left: Missy, Stacy Jr., Chancellor Meadors, Betty, Stacy Sr. and Nan. Front row from left: Kayla and Kyra. The late Stacy Ryan is in the photo.

Family gathers for Stacy Ryan Locklear ROTC Scholarship – Back row from left: Missy, Stacy Jr., Chancellor Meadors, Betty, Stacy Sr. and Nan. Front row from left: Kayla and Kyra. The late Stacy Ryan is in the photo.

A career began that day. Today, Major Stacy Locklear Jr. is a 16-year veteran Air Force scientist stationed at Fort Belvoir in Alexandria, Va.

Major Locklear, who grew up in the Town of Pembroke and comes from a family of UNCP graduates, established an endowed scholarship for students in the ROTC program.

“UNCP’s low tuition and ROTC is a unique combination,” he said. “The ROTC program gave me focus and chemistry gave me a career.”

“What a great deal it is to have a program like this for local people like me,” Major Locklear said. “I’d like to see others have that chance.”

Major Locklear brought his family to UNCP on August 15 to visit and finalize the scholarship agreement. His family includes wife, Missy, and daughters, Kayla, 8, and Kyra, 7, parents, Betty and Stacy Sr. (’62) and sister, Nan Betty Locklear (’72).

The endowment, a perpetual scholarship fund, is named the Stacy Ryan Locklear Air Force ROTC Endowed Scholarship Fund in memory of the Major’s son who profoundly impacted the lives of his father, family and friends. Ryan was a vibrant 3-year old who passed away unexpectedly on July 25, 2004.

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors was on hand for the August 15 signing of the scholarship agreement.

Major Locklear and Chancellor Allen C. Meadors

Major Locklear and Chancellor Allen C. Meadors

“This is truly a great day for the University,” Chancellor Meadors said. “When successful graduates return to their University to help our students financially, a circle is completed.”

“It is a great honor to meet Major Locklear and his family, and, on behalf of the University, I thank them,” he said.

Major Locklear, who until recently was stationed in New Mexico, toured the University and was impressed with the changes he saw.

“It’s really neat to see the things they are doing with the school, but it still has a small campus feel,” he said. “It’s great to see the expanded programs especially in the new science labs.”

Major Locklear works in research and development at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. He received a master’s degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, when he was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He is a 1985 graduate of West Robeson High School and a 1989 graduate of UNCP.

The Scholarship was established with an initial gift of $8,000. It will be awarded annually to an American Indian student from Robeson County participating in the Air Force ROTC program at UNCP maintaining a 3.0 grade point average with demonstrated financial need.

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is an education and training program designed to give college students an opportunity to become Air Force officers while completing a degree. The curriculum teaches leadership, teamwork, communication skills, management and other essential skills. It is offered at over 900 institutions and produces approximately 2,000 officers annually.

For questions about contributing to this or other scholarships, please call the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email advancement@uncp.edu. For information about UNCP’s AFROTC program, please call 910.521.6373.

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