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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mr. and Miss Lumbee earn UNCP scholarships

The Mr. and Miss Lumbee scholarship program at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke continued this fall with $500 in scholarships awarded to India Rose Locklear and Vee Oxendine.

The reigning 2006 Miss Lumbee is a freshman at UNCP who plans to enter the University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. A junior, Mr. Lumbee is an exercise and sports science major who wants to be a personal trainer.

Chancellor Meadors (center) with India Rose Locklear and Vee Oxendine

Chancellor Meadors (center) with India Rose Locklear and Vee Oxendine

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Dr. Diane Jones, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said they are outstanding representatives for the Lumbee Tribe and UNCP.

“We are delighted to support Mr. and Miss Lumbee by awarding them each with a $500 scholarship,” Dr. Jones said. “They are both very positive role models on our campus, and we are happy to have them as students and advocates for the Lumbee Tribe.”

When not in school, Mr. and Miss Lumbee are traditional Native American dancers and proudly wear Lumbee Tribe regalia at powwows near and far. They met September 14 for a photo with Chancellor Allen C. Meadors and an interview. They said it has been a busy fall.

“We will attend powwows for the next five straight weekends,” Locklear said.

“We try our best to represent our tribe, but I’ve learned a lot about other tribes too,” Oxendine said.

Locklear recalled a remarkable moment at a recent powwow.

“I was dancing and the music suddenly stopped,” she said. “A feather had fallen to the ground. The elders formed a prayer circle and performed a 20-30 minute ceremony.”

“It was an eagle feather,” Oxendine said.

Locklear said the Miss Lumbee crown comes with many responsibilities and honors.

“I plan to compete for the Miss Indian World title in Albequerqe, N.M., later this year,” she said.

With a host of pageants and titles, Locklear is a seasoned competitor who enjoys “the elegance and calm” of the eveningwear competition.

“I enjoy competing more than entertaining,” she said. “I did win in the talent portion of the North Carolina Miss Outstanding Teen Pageant.”

Oxendine, who has a full-time job, said his career in pageants is probably over, but he will compete on another arena this spring as a member of UNCP’s new football team.

“I have talked with the coaches, and I plan to practice with the football team in the spring,” he said. “I enjoy being in the gym and working with people.”

Oxendine bench-pressed 415 pounds in a recent competition. He is multi-talented, singing country music on stage and country gospel in his home church in the Saddletree community north of Lumberton, N.C.

“Country,” he said. “That’s were I am and that’s where I’m from.”

The reigning 2006 Miss Lumbee is from the Prospect community near Pembroke, N.C. She stays fit, dancing and training for pageants. She was an eight-year veteran cheerleader in middle and high school.

Their tour of powwows makes a stop in late October at the Lumbee Fall Powwow where they will be honored as the lead dancers.

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