Jack W. Bridges Jr., an 83-year-old Glen Rose native, longtime business owner, Army veteran and member of the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame, is this year’s Glen Rose ISD Tiger’s Eye Award winner.
Each year the winners lead the Glen Rose High School graduation processional. Bridges will also address the graduating Class of 2017 at commencement exercises on May 26 in the high school auditorium.
Glen Rose Superintendent Wayne Rotan announced last week that the award went to Bridges, who attended first through 12th grade in Glen Rose, then studied Business Administration at Texas Christian University. He was a member of the rodeo team at TCU, where he graduated in 1955.
Bridges was drafted into the Army in 1956, and served two years in Germany.
Rotan stated that Bridges returned home in July 1958 and married Bobbie Lou Gibson on Aug. 1, 1958.
After graduating TCU in December 1955, Texas A&M University wanted Bridges on its rodeo team. Bridges enrolled in A&M for the spring semester of 1956 and won the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s calf roping and ribbon roping championships.
Bridges worked for his father at First National Bank of Glen Rose, serving as vice president for 18 years, before the family sold the bank in 1976. He then opened Jack Bridges Insurance and Realty on the square, which is still open today.
He has served on countless community organizations, including the Glen Rose Chamber of Commerce, City Council, School Board and the Glen Rose Horse Show Association.
“His passion has been and continues to be team roping, (in) which he still competes at the age of 83,” Rotan said of Bridges, who was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2001.
Jack and his wife, Bobbie Lou, have four children who all graduated from Glen Rose.
“He had a child in the Glen Rose schools for 24 consecutive years,” Rotan noted. “During this time, he attended every event possible to support his family and GRISD. He is currently a Silver Tiger member, and now watches his granddaughters in their many Glen Rose sporting events.”
The purpose of the Tiger’s Eye Award is to honor a graduate of Glen Rose schools for continued support and service to the school district. The winner is selected by a small committee of GRHS graduates from each generation.
Rotan further explained that “support and service” can be evidenced “in any number of ways, including: loyal attendance at school events; buying annually from school campuses or organizations; volunteering for various tasks on campus or at school activities; or achieving outstanding honors within his/her own profession while maintaining ties to the community and school.
“Another example of that support might be based upon a feat — heroic or unique in kind,” Rotan said. “Any number of qualities might be considered by voters. Note, however, that continued support and service is the key to selection. Selection criteria is based on the purpose of the award; may be gifts of service, support, money or time.”
The award recipients receive a custom gold tiger eye ring designed by Jess Hardie and their name is added to an engraved plaque on display in the auditorium.
Bridge’s mother and aunt were both Glen Rose school teachers in the 1940s.
In high school, Bridges was class president, vice president, FFA president, football captain and basketball captain. His school awards included Best All Around Student, All-District linebacker and the Babe Ruth Baseball Sportsmanship Award.