The Palomar College Foundation Comet Award annually recognizes community
members who, through their personal and professional achievements, have had a
positive impact on our community and on the promotion of education.
Major General Anthony Jackson, a Fallbrook resident, has a distinguished record of more
than 40 years of public service. After a long and successful Marine Corps career, he went
on to head the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
Jackson holds a bachelor's and master's degree in history from San Jose State University,
where he played football. Born in Fort Lewis, Washington, Jackson enlisted in the Marines
after college and attended officer candidate school. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces
Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, and the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Jackson held many significant command positions around the world before his 2009
retirement from the Corps.
In 2012, Jackson was appointed head of the Department of Parks and Recreation where he
brought order and discipline to the agency before his recent retirement. He has helped
better the local community through service as a board member for a number of
organizations including the Palomar College Foundation advisory board, Cal State
University San Marcos Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters San Diego County, the
Marines Memorial Association, and the External Advisory Board of Climate Education
Partners for the University of San Diego.
Throughout his career, Major general Jackson has emphasized to his troops and later his
employees the need for fairness, diversity, and education, along with respect for the
"Influenced by Martin Luther King and my parents, I was inspired from a young age to
reach toward a dream. With these influences, and the good fortune of having great
educational opportunities along the way, I was able to achieve success. looking back
at the years I spent managing my career and caring for and about my wonderful wife
and sons, I can see a dream come true. At this point in my life, I feel I am a dream
keeper and creator. I want to influence as many young lives as possible."
Jack Port's choices in life demonstrate a generosity of spirit and a commitment to
bettering the lives of others.
Neither the passage of time nor his involvement in successful business endeavors has let
Jack Port forget June 6, 1944 when he was one of more than 150,000 Allied troops who
took part in the Normandy landing. Today, Port is one of a rapidly-dwindling group who
took part in one of the most momentous military operations of modern times.
Since that time, Port, an Oceanside resident, has contributed in countless ways to his
communities and has never forgotten where and why he fought.
"People refer to us as heroes," Port once said. "The real heroes are the ones who
didn't make it." He has returned to Normandy for each of the major milestone
anniversaries, as a way of honoring the men with whom he fought.
After returning from the war, Port took the helm of the clothing business founded in
Escondido by his Estonian-immigrant father. He made the business successful, and then
went on to become the founder and a director of North County Bank.
Just as Port has never forgotten his fellow soldiers, he has remained loyal to the
North County communities where he has lived and from which his business
Over the years, Port has given back in many ways, including serving as a director of
the Escondido Boys Club, the Escondido Opportunity Commission, the Escondido
Chamber of Commerce, and the San Diego County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission.
Port's interest in and respect for the value of education is reflected in his 28 years of
service on the San Diego County Board of Education, and his service on the
Orange Glen School Board.
Port was awarded a Palomar College honorary degree in humane arts in 1974, and he
has long maintained a close connection to the college and foundation.
"At this point in my life, I would have to say that my cup is full. I have served my city,
my county, me state and I have served my country," he said. "I feel satisfied with my
accomplishments and what I have given back."
with respect for the environment