A friend of a friend-Alexis Locklear-Marla Locklear-July 18

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for July 18, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

I heard the term several months ago “work spouse”. I am not sure what the definitions all include for “work spouse” but having someone that is truly committed to the workplace family is what I think of.

office wife

There is no doubt that my “workplace spouse” would be Marla Locklear. I have the privilege to work alongside of Marla for the last seventeen years. She is an indispensable member of the chancellor’s office team at UNC Pembroke serving as Executive Assistant. Prior to coming to the chancellor’s office in the summer of 2012 Marla served as a de facto associate athletic director for internal operations at UNC Pembroke. She didn’t have that title but that was the reality of her job description. Marla handled so many operational and emotional aspects of running an athletic department that my list is going to be incomplete but I am going to hit some major ones.

Marla monitored budgets, she processed travel requests, she arranged team travel transportation, and she dealt with upset parents, student, and coaches. Marla was friends without just about every employee on campus. She provided me inside trader information on what was taking place across campus that put me in a better position as a leader. She would let me know the mundane that might morph into something more significant if I didn’t address. I always appreciated her attitude of trying to provide the best experience for our students, our coaches, and our fans. Marla is also a women of integrity and trustworthiness. I never had to worry about her being told confidential information.

The one piece of information I am going to share on her is that today is her birthday. So Happy Birthday Marla. For those that know Marla she loves life and that means this entire week has been a birthday celebration. The photos below is a snippet of her birthday week celebration.

Photo below is one of many from Marla’s birthday week celebration- (l-r) Ronette Gerber, Tina Rodgers, Marla Locklear, and Kelley Horton.

Birthday Week

Today Marla in her role away from athletics is instrumental in supporting the chancellor at the university. She began on Wednesday in assisting our new chancellor Dr. Robin Cummings get off to a great start as he begins his leadership tenure.

(l-r) Chancellor Robin Cummings and Marla Locklear July 2015

Marla and Chancellor

What Marla does well is serve others and to make sure that the chancellor is always prepared with the details and information he needs. She also has the daunting task of keep up with a leader’s calendar that is extremely busy and crowded.With a new chancellor the next several months will be challenging but she will be up to the task.

Marla is also a cheerleader at heart. She could not help being one of the loudest and most supportive UNCP fans when she worked in athletics. She continues that today. She is also been a cheerleader for young women in the Pembroke community that pursue pageants. She got involved in that because of the many years her talented daughter Alexis was involved in a variety of pageants including Miss Lumbee.

Marla has many friends but one of her most important is her daughter Alexis.





Someone “Special”

I had the opportunity to teach a class at the university five or six years ago. The name of the course was called Freshman Seminar. This is a course that address the transition that freshman need to make to be successful.  I utilize an approach when I teach of letting students know I have high expectations for them. I do this by telling each of them they are ‘special” not average. I constantly remind them that special people don’t achieve average results. I am looking for them to validate they are special by demonstrating behaviors that are beyond average.

One of the students I had in that course was Alexis Locklear who also became one of my advisees. I would ask the students a simple question each day. Are you average or special? Eventually they knew the answer I expected was “special”. Once they said special I would never accept average effort or results.

Alexis is truly special young women. She has been influenced by her mom to be respectful, polite, hard working, and appreciative. She has been a winner in several pageants including Miss Lumbee. As that winner she spent an entire year representing the Lumbee Tribe as one of their ambassadors. During that year I beamed with pride as I saw her not only represent herself and the Lumbee people with class but how she was such positive role model for UNCP and her mom’s parenting skills.

Photo below at May 2014 UNC Pembroke Commencement

(l-r) Alexis Locklear, Dan Kenney, and Genna Locklear.

Dan and Alexis

Alexis below with her regalia which was on display at UNC Pembroke The Museum of Southeast American Indian Studies

Miss Lumbee

Alexis has graduated from UNC Pembroke with a degree in Mass Communications. She has already had an internship that took her to Chicago, Illinois. I have no doubt that one day soon you are going to know what I all ready know that Alexis Locklear is “Special” and so is her mom.


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