Wednesday, 16 December 2020 11:52

Maxine Locklear Amos honors family with UNCP endowments

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PEMBROKE — Maxine Locklear Amos lives by the biblical principal: Freely give and you will freely receive. 


Amos can recall vivid childhood memories of this, and many other wise sayings repeated by her mother Winnie Catherine Maynor Locklear, while growing up in the Pembroke community. Her father, Roscoe, died when she was four. The importance of education was another memory.

These life lessons inspired Amos, a third-generation educator, to make a contribution to UNC Pembroke by establishing a trio of scholarships sure to significantly impact students for generations to come. The Louie M. and Maxine Locklear Amos Memorial Scholarship was created earlier.

More recently, the Roscoe and Winnie Catherine Locklear Scholarship and the Carrie Mae, Delton Ray and Dorothy Locklear Scholarship were established in memory and in honor of Amos’ parents and siblings. 

“For me, three things that have always been important in my life have been family, religion and education,” Amos said. “My family has always been important to me. My mother was a wise woman. She always stressed the importance of getting an education. Before my husband died, we always talked about creating an endowment for my parents and for my siblings. I’ve always said if I can help somebody along the way, my living shall not be in vain,” she said borrowing lyrics from a popular gospel hymn.

Amos’ family tree is deeply rooted in UNCP history. Her grandfather and well-known educator, Anderson Locklear, was a member of the first class of Indian Normal School — later to become UNCP — where he served as a trustee for many years. Locklear Hall is named in his honor. A countless number of her family members are graduates and lifelong supporters of UNCP.

A career educator herself, Amos earned degrees from Coker College and East Carolina University before serving 38 years as an educator in Burke, Cumberland and Robeson counties. She was the first elementary guidance counselor in Cumberland County and the first to serve in that role later in Robeson County. It was during a teaching stint in Burke County, she met her husband Mac Amos, while he was serving in the Navy. He later served as director of the Robeson County Center for Southeastern Regional Mental Health. They were married 60 years.

Although she’s not a UNCP alumna, Amos knows if it wasn’t for the university, many people in Robeson County would not have been able to earn a college degree. She believes in and has witnessed firsthand the transformative power of education and these experiences drove her decision to support others pursuing an education. To qualify, recipients must reside in Robeson or Burke County, majoring in education and demonstrate a financial need. 

Amos comes from a long line of educators. Like his father, Anderson, Roscoe Locklear, devoted his life to teaching in the local schools. Both her siblings Delton Ray and Dorothy Blue were school teachers. Delton was a 1954 graduate of UNCP. Dorothy is a 1955 graduate; and Carrie Mae Dial attended college briefly prior to her marriage.

“These scholarships will help students improve themselves,” she said. “I’m primarily interested in someone who has potential but may be in need of some financial help. I hope through these scholarships I will have done my part. Hopefully, others will see this and be willing to see how important this is and share in my vision of wanting to help others.”

“We are fortunate to have someone whose commitment to and belief in our university is demonstrated through such generosity,” said Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings. “Ms. Amos and her family have made a difference across our campus for generations. These three scholarships build on an already remarkable family legacy and will have a life-changing impact on our students, now and into the decades to come.”

As an added bonus and as a gift to herself, Amos decided to celebrate her 85th birthday by publicly announcing her gifts to UNCP. 

“Typically, birthday celebrations include a party, but with the COVID virus, I decided this is the way I wanted to celebrate my birthday. As my mother would say, if you freely give, you will freely receive.”