The Right Eminent Grand Commander of Texas

Grand Commander Jack M. Harper, II
Title: Right Eminent Grand Commander
Year: 2017 - 2018
Home Commandery: Waco No. 10
His Lady: Julie
Masonic History and Personal History Below.
Biography:


Jack Magee Harper II, Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery Knights Templar of Texas, was born to Jack and Cheri Harper on 19 November 1971, in Austin, Texas. His family quickly moved from Austin to Beaumont before permanently residing in San Antonio. He graduated from Castle Hills First Baptist Church High School in May of 1989. Jack has been married to his wonderful wife Julie, since 27 May 2000, and they have one son, Jake Michael, who was born 26 September 2007.


Education and continuing education are both very important to Jack. He moved to Lubbock where he graduated from Texas Tech University in May 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree. While at Texas Tech, he was a Resident Assistant for two years, and a member of Chi Psi fraternity, as well as Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor fraternity. He went on to also earn a Master of Public Administration from Texas Tech University in August 1995. He attended Walden University for a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration, and worked towards his dissertation. He also became a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Public Administration Honor fraternity.


From a continuing education standpoint, Jack has graduated from the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; the Senior Executive Institute from the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia; the Gettysburg Leadership Institute in Gettysburg, PA, and the Williamsburg Leadership Institute in Williamsburg, VA. He also completed Leadership ICMA (International City/County Management Association), where he has been a Credentialed City Manager since January 2008. He also is a Certified Public Manager issued by the State of Texas, as well as a Certified Housing Development Finance Professional and a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional; both awarded by the National Development Council. Also, due to his work in the field of emergency management, he is a Certified Emergency Manager through the International Association of Emergency Managers, and a Texas Emergency Manager from the Emergency Management Association of Texas. Jack was also recognized by the United States Navy, where he was honored to be a Distinguished Visitor at Sea. He was flown to the Pacific Ocean, where he completed an arrested landing onboard the USS Ronald Reagan CVN 76. He was able to spend several days at sea onboard the nuclear powered aircraft carrier before having a catapult assisted launch off the flight deck. During this, he experienced deceleration from 103 to 0 mph in two seconds, and acceleration from 0 to 128 mph in three seconds.


In June 1993, Jack began his professional local government career working for the City of Lubbock as an Environmental Specialist. From there he worked for the City of San Antonio as a Management Analyst, and as an Executive Director of a non-profit organization in Abilene. He served four years as City Manager of Stamford, and eight years as City Manager of Hillsboro. Since August 2014, Jack has served as Assistant City Manager for Waco.


Jack also greatly enjoys teaching, and has taught at Hill College since 2007, where he is an online instructor for both Texas Government and American Government. He also teaches online for Tiffin University, where he instructs Political Science, Public Administration, and Organizational Theory. Due to his emergency management experience, Tiffin University also asked Jack to develop online undergraduate level emergency management courses. Since 2016, Jack has been Graduate Faculty for Texas Tech University, where he teaches courses in the Master of Public Administration program. He also instructs a number of emergency management classes, as well as Incident Commander, Liaison Officer, and Planning Section Chief classes for FEMA and the State of Texas.


Finally, Jack also works for the United States Forest Service; specifically, the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, where he is qualified as a Liaison Officer. Jack also has served as a Liaison Officer for the Southern Area Blue Type 1 Incident Management Team for five years, which is one of only sixteen Type 1 teams in the United States. Currently he is serving as a Liaison Officer for the Southern Area Gold Type 2 Incident Management Team. While serving on Incident Management Teams, he has traveled across the United States assisting in the management of containing the largest and most complex wildland forest fires.


In Masonry, Jack was Initiated on 30 April 2003, Passed on 28 May 2003, and Raised on 23 June 2003 in Stamford No. 853. Jack has served as Worshipful Master for Hamlin No. 958 in 2005-2006, Stamford No. 853 in 2006-2007, as the 50th Worshipful Master of Texas Lodge of Research in 2009-2010, and Baylor No. 1235 in 2016-2017. He is an Endowed Member with Hillsboro No. 196, Baylor No. 1235, and Texas Lodge of Research. The ritualistic work is very important to Jack, as he holds a three year Class A Esoteric Certificate, earning his first one on 18 October 2003. Jack has also served the Grand Lodge of Texas as District Deputy Grand Master for the 91st District in 2007 under Grand Master Donny Broughton; the 2009 Grand Master`s Planning Team for Grand Master W. David Counts, and on the Insurance Advisory Committee from 2006 to 2011; serving as the Chairman from 2009-2011. He also served on the Fraternal Relations Committee with a term of 2008-2014. Jack also received the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award in May 2004.


Jack was Exalted a Royal Arch Mason in Hamlin Chapter No. 310 on 30 July 2003, and also became an affiliated member of Roby Chapter No. 380. While he has served in several stations, he was High Priest for Roby Chapter No. 380 for 2004-2005, 2005-2006, and 2006-2007. When he moved to Hillsboro, he affiliated with, and became an Endowed Member of Hillsboro No. 152, and served as its High Priest in 2008-2009. He has been serving as Secretary since 2015. Jack holds a three year Esoteric Certificate, earning his first one in December 2004. He received the Order of High Priesthood on 25 September 2004. Jack has also served the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas in several capacities. He has served three times as District Deputy Grand High Priest, serving in 2008, 2010, and 2013. He has served twice as Grand Orator in 2009 and 2016. He has served as State Coordinator in 2009; and on the Grand High Priest`s Planning Teams in 2009 and 2016. Jack has served on the Purposes and Policies Committee with terms of 2008-2013, and 2015-2020, and is currently the Chairman. He also has been the Grand Chapter Region Five Coordinator since 2010. Jack was appointed as the Grand Representative for Maryland from 2008-2016, and North Dakota since 2016. Hillsboro Chapter No. 152 has honored him with the Cornerstone Award. Jack is also very pleased that his 93 year old grandmother (who is a 73 year member of the Order of Eastern Star) resides at the Texas Masonic Retirement Center, which is operated and controlled by the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas.


Jack was Greeted a Select Master in Stamford Council No. 192 on 26 August 2003, and also became an affiliated member of Roby Council No. 316. While he has served in several stations, he was Thrice Illustrious Master for Roby Council No. 316 in 2004-2005, 2005-2006, and 2006-2007. When he moved to Hillsboro, he affiliated with, and became an Endowed Member of Hillsboro No. 94, and served as its Thrice Illustrious Master in 2008-2009. He has been serving as Recorder since 2015. Jack holds a three year Esoteric Certificate, earning his first one in December 2004. He received the Order of the Silver Trowel on 25 September 2004, and the Super Excellent Master on 12 June 2010. Jack has also served the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters in several capacities. He has served twice as District Deputy Grand Master; serving in 2007 and 2009. Jack served on the Jurisprudence Committee with a term of 2011-2016, and has been the Grand Council Region Five Coordinator since 2010. He was appointed as the Grand Representative for Indiana in 2010.


Jack was Created a Knight Templar on 9 October 2003 in Stamford No. 75. He served as Commander of Sweetwater No. 89 in 2005 and 2006. When he moved to Hillsboro, he affiliated with, and became an Endowed Member of Hillsboro No. 39, where he served as its Commander in 2008 and 2009. He also affiliated with Cleburne No. 12 and Waco No. 10. He is an Endowed Member of Waco No. 10, and served as its Commander in 2016. He is also a Life Sponsor of the Knight Templar Eye Foundation. For every year he has served as Commander, his Commandery has been recognized with the Gilbough Plaque, and also the Kidd Plaque in 2006 and 2016. Jack has received the Commanders Distinguished Medal four times. He received an all-white award in 2005 and 2016, and a black/white award in 2008 and 2009. Jack received the Order of Knight Preceptor on 17 April 2005. He has been pleased to serve the Grand Commandery Knights Templar of Texas in several capacities. He served on the Place of Next Conclave Committee in 2005 and the Long Range Planning Committee from 2010-2015. He served as the Chairman of the Fraternal Relations Committee (Foreign Correspondence) from 2006 until 2010. Jack was appointed as the Grand Representative for New Hampshire in 2009. He was elected to the Grand Commandery line as Grand Sentinel in 2008, Grand Warder in 2009, Grand Sword Bearer in 2010, Grand Standard Bearer in 2011, Grand Junior Warden in 2012, Grand Senior Warden in 2013, Grand Captain General in 2014, Grand Generalissimo in 2015, Deputy Grand Commander in 2016, and as Grand Commander in 2017.


Jack is an Endowed Member of the Waco Valley Scottish Rite, and received his 32 degree on 24 April 2004, his 32 degree Knight Commander of the Court of Honour (KCCH) on 14 November 2009, and his 33 degree on 27 August 2013 in Washington DC during the Supreme Council Biennial Session. Jack was a member of the 4th, 14th, 18th, and 30th West Texas Degree Teams, and served also as 30th Degree Master. Jack has served the Waco Valley as Venerable Master of the Order of the Thistle, Commander of Kadosh, Treasurer, and Personal Representative. He was also a Scottish Rite Fellow. Jack has also served as the Central Texas Membership Chairman, the Valley Mentorship Chairman, Waco Valley Representative for the Scottish Rite Dormitory at the University of Texas in Austin, Board of Directors for the Waco Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation of Texas, the Scottish Rite Educational Foundation, Board of Trustees for the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, the Waco Valley Scottish Rite Executive Committee, the Scottish Rite Foundation of Texas as Secretary, Executive Director, and Chairman of the Waco Executive Committee. Concerning Scottish Rite education, Jack is also a Life Member of the Scottish Rite Research Society, and has completed the Master Craftsman I Program (now known as History and Ritual), the Master Craftsman II Program (no longer being offered), the Master Craftsman III Program (now known as Symbolic Lodge), and is currently working on the Scottish Rite Master Craftsman IV Program (known as Scottish Rite Philosophy).


Jack is also very active in other Masonic organizations. He has been a member of the York Rite Esoteric Association (members hold Esoteric Certificates in Lodge, Chapter, and Council), since December 2004. He served as Vice President in 2008-2009, President in 2009-2010, and Chaplain in 2010-2011.


He joined Libertas Council No. 83 Knight Masons on 30 April 2005, and is an Endowed Member and Founder of Frank G. McDonald Council No. 97. He served as the Charter Excellent Chief from 2008-2009, and 2009-2010. He was appointed as Grand Superintendent for Texas (Central) on 2 May 2011, and has served in that capacity since that time. He was honored by the Grand Council of Knight Masons with the Knight Commander of Zerubbabel Award on 10 February 2017.


Jack became a member of Heart of Texas York Rite College No. 128 on 28 May 2005, and later affiliated with, and became an Endowed Member of Texas York Rite College No. 14. He served as Preeminent Governor for Texas No. 14 for the year 2011-2012. Jack became an Associate Regent when he was elected to receive the Order of the Purple Cross in August 2012 in Toronto, Canada. He has also completed the Companion Adept of the Temple educational program.


Jack was initiated a Charter Member of West Texas Council No. 438, Allied Masonic Degrees on 5 November 2005, later affiliating with Robert Bruce Brannon No. 270 and Waco No. 384. He was a Founder of Anson Jones Council No. 462, and was the Charter Sovereign Master from 2008-2009, and 2009-2010. He received the Knight Commander of the Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri in December 2008.


He became a Knight Companion of the Red Cross of Constantine in Llano Estacado Conclave on 18 March 2006, and later a Dual Member of DeMolay Conclave. He is currently serving as Senior General in the advancing line for DeMolay Conclave. He joined the Masonic Order of the Bath, U.S.A. on 15 July 2006. Jack was initiated into the Knight York Cross of Honour (KYCH) on 15 April 2007, and has served as a Lecturer for Chapter and many years for the Commandery. He also is a Life Member of the Grand College of Rites since August 2007, and Ye Antiente Order of Corks, U.S.A., since February 2010.


Jack was initiated into Suez Shrine on 10 June 2006, but later affiliated with Karem Shrine in 2013, where he is a Total Life Member; a member of El Texa Grotto since 26 October 2007, and Crusader Chapel No. 12, St. Thomas of Acon since 28 March 2008. He also is a Frater VII degree in Texas College of Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF) since 10 October 2009. He also joined the Order of the Eastern Star, TMRC Daylight Chapter No.1145 on 22 March 2010, and served as Worthy Patron 2013-2014, while his grandmother served as Worthy Matron (for the first time, and during her 70th year of membership).


He is also an Endowed Member of Ascension Tabernacle No. XX, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, Life Member in the Royal Order of Scotland, Member in Perpetuity of George R. (Bob) Scott No. 482 National Sojourners, a 3rd Grade in the Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord in the U.S., and serves in the advancing line of Potomac Court No. 107 of the Masonic Order of Athelstan in England, Wales, and its Overseas Provinces. He has also been elected to membership in San Jacinto Monument Assemblage of The Operatives.


While Jack is extremely busy with work, family, and Masonry, he still finds time to serve the community. Jack has been a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America since 1979. He earned both the Arrow of Light and Eagle Scout Awards. He had 56 merit badges, and earned three Eagle Scout Palms. He is a Life Member of the National Eagle Scout Association. He was honored to have served as a Ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch in 1991 and 1992. He is a Life Member of the Philmont Staff Association. He has served as a staff member on seven Wood Badge courses, and was the Course Director/Scoutmaster for a backcountry Wood Badge course held at Philmont Scout Ranch in 2014. He has also staffed many other youth and adult leadership training courses. He has also been very active in the Order of the Arrow, where he served in several capacities including Chapter Adviser and Section Vice Chief Adviser. He has received the Vigil Honor, the Founders Award, the District Award of Merit, and the Silver Beaver. Over the years, he has served as Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, Roundtable Commissioner, District Board Member, District Chairman, Assistant Council Commissioner, Tiger Den Leader, and Assistant Cubmaster. Since 2009, he has served on the Longhorn Council Executive Committee, and since 2015 as Cubmaster for Pack 308 in Waco. He will also be serving on staff for the 2017 National Scout Jamboree and the 2019 World Scout Jamboree.


Jack is also a proud member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. In addition, he has served as President of the Stamford Exchange Club from 2005-2006, and President of the Hillsboro Rotary Club from 2011-2012. He also served as Treasurer for the Heart of Texas Regional Advisory Council (HOTRAC) from 2011-2016. He is very active in both the Texas City Management Association (TCMA) and International City/County Management Association (ICMA). For TCMA, he has served on numerous committees, and as Region 3 President from 2005-2006, and 2006-2007, as Region 7 President from 2011-2012, and is currently serving a two year term as Region 7 Director for the TCMA Board of Directors.


Jack is an FAA certificated Private Pilot, with both Single Engine Land and Single Engine Sea Plane ratings. He is an FCC certificated Extra Class Amateur Radio Operator, with the call sign WM5P. He also is an Accredited Extra Class Volunteer Examiner for the American Radio Relay League. Finally, Jack is an avid backpacker. He has backpacked in all fifty states, and on three continents. He is attempting to hike the highest point in every state, and has so far done forty highpoints.