Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp was the keynote speaker for the Rotary Club of Harker Heights Foundation luncheon Thursday at Central Texas College’s Anderson Student Center.

More than 275 people attended the luncheon, recognizing education and educators.

Sharp discussed the Texas A&M University System and its various academic and research programs.

He highlighted the university’s engineering program, stating that it is expected to grow to more than 25,000 students by 2025.

Sharp, who was appointed Texas A&M University System chancellor in 2011, has been in public service for three decades.

A Texas A&M graduate, Sharp was a member of both the Texas House and Senate, was elected to the Texas Railroad Commission in 1986, elected state comptroller in 1990 and re-elected in 1994.

Rotarians also discussed during the meeting the service that Rotary provides.

Founded in Chicago in 1905 as the world’s first volunteer service organization by Paul Harris, Rotary International has grown to more than 32,000 clubs located in more than 200 countries.

More than 1.2 million members carry out the “Service Above Self” motto weekly worldwide.

“We are the blessed of the earth here, and shame on us for not giving back,” said former Harker Heights Mayor Ed Mullen, a 20-year Rotarian.

Proceeds from the luncheon will go to the

Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

Locally, Rotary District 5870 is the youngest in the district, chartered in 2010, and it’s also the No. 1 club in the district, which boasts 64 clubs.

Horace Grace, former foundation chairman, said the club raises more money per capita than any other club in the district.

“Rotary is all about what I can do for people I don’t even know,” he said.

A nonprofit corporation, the Rotary Foundation is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the foundation who share a vision of a better world, according to Jennifer McCann, the club’s president.

The Harker Heights Rotary meets Thursdays at 7 a.m. at the St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church Parish Center, 2412 Stillhouse Lake Road.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

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