Dr. Bryan C. Jack, Patriot
Dr. Bryan C. Jack was an outstanding Robert E. Lee High School graduate. In addition to being voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by the class of 1970, he was president of the Student Council, a National Merit Scholar, and a Presidential Scholar (one of two chosen from Texas in 1970). He and his debate partner won first place in the 1970 State of Texas UIL AAAA Debate Championship. Dr. Jack was the highest-ranking male in his class and was named “Most Outstanding Student” in both math and science and Optimist Young Texan. The Tyler Rotary Club named him an Outstanding Boy. Dr. Jack also served Lee High School as a photographer, actor in school plays, and participant and winner of many awards in speech, mathematics, and science competitions.
Following his graduation from Lee High School, Dr. Jack received a B.A. in Economics from the California Institute of Technology in 1974. He was a Henry Luce Scholar in Japan, earned a MBA from Stanford University in 1978, and a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Maryland in 1991. He was an adjunct professor of economics at George Washington University.
In 1978, Dr. Jack was employed by the Pentagon and worked in the Programming Analysis and Evaluation (PA&E) Directorate of the Office of the Secretary of Defense for 23 years. His last 6 years, he was Director of the Programming and Fiscal Economics division. In this position he was responsible for the design and maintenance of the Future Years Defense Program, and the development of fiscal guidance by which the Secretary of Defense annually allocates funding to the military departments and defense agencies. It has been said that Dr. Jack “crunched the numbers” for our nation’s defense budget. Twice awarded the Defense Exceptional Service Medal (1998 and 2000), Dr. Jack was posthumously awarded the Presidential Meritorious Executive Medal, the Distinguished Civilian Career Service Award, and the Defense of Freedom Medal.
Dr. Jack died on September 11, 2001, in the terrorist attacks on our nation. He was a passenger on American Airlines flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon not more than 200 feet from his office. He was traveling to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California to deliver a lecture. Dr. Jack was 48 years old.
Dr. Jack was the son of James and Helen Jack, former Tyler ISD teachers and younger brother of Terry Jack. Barbara Rachko was his long-time companion and spouse for only three months. Ms. Rachko is an artist in New York City where they had purchased a condo not far from the World Trade Center.
Dr. Jack's interests included hiking, classical music, photography, and art. His loyalty and devotion to family, love for his wife and enthusiasm for her career as an artist, and steadfast friendships with his classmates, will not be forgotten.
Dr. Bryan C. Jack Elementary opened its doors in August 2007.