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Lamar University establishes Locke Presidential Scholarship in Theatre

A new scholarship has been established in honor of Gloria and Charles Locke, both active members in the Beaumont community. The Gloria Swarts Locke and Charles Blakey Locke Presidential Scholarship in Theatre honors the couple’s dedication to public service and provides funds for theatre majors.

“At a time when our theatre program is growing, the Gloria Swarts Locke and Charles Blakey Locke Presidential Scholarship provides a wonderful investment in the cultural well-being of our community,” said Russ Schultz, dean of Lamar’s College of Fine Arts and Communication. “We are most grateful to the Locke family for support of LU and the Lamar Theatre Program for their vision and belief that we do derive ‘Strength through Community.’”

Born in Wichita Falls, Gloria attended Southern Methodist University. She moved to Beaumont and married Charles in April of 1951. Gloria is involved in many civic and community organizations including the Junior League of Beaumont, Magnolia Garden Club, Beaumont Heritage Society and others. She also plays an active role in Trinity United Methodist Church.

Born in Fort Worth, Charles moved to Beaumont in his teens and attended Lamar College. He later attended Texas A&M University. At the end of his sophomore year, he entered the Army and served for two years during World War II. After the Army, he went back to A&M and graduated in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He worked at Magnolia Petroleum Co. and after four years joined a family business, Forest Lawn Memorial Park. He later acquired Memory Gardens in Nederland and established Forest Lawn Funeral Home in Beaumont; he sold these businesses in 1990.

Charles is a past director of First City Bank of Beaumont and of Beaumont Television Corp. operator of KFDM-TV, Channel 6. His other community involvements include the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Beaumont and Trinity United Methodist Church.

“There are so many talented young people who attend Lamar majoring in all fields, including theatre,” said Charles Locke. “We hope that this scholarship will help someone pursue his or her dream in theatre and succeed in their life’s journey.”

The couple has two children, Anne Locke Cobb and Charles David Locke, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

For information about establishing an endowed scholarship, contact the Lamar University Foundation at (409) 880-2117.