Skip to main content

Laying down arms, and grabbing a hammer

As the president and owner of Magruder Homes, John Magruder '04 has decided to team up with Pitman Custom Homes to bring the St. Jude Dream Home Showplace to Aggieland.

By: Allen Junek ‘18

These days it’s rare for rivals to lay down their arms for a good cause, but that’s exactly the case for John Magruder ‘04.

As the president and owner of Magruder Homes, Magruder has decided to team up with Pitman Custom Homes to bring the St. Jude Dream Home Showplace to Aggieland. The Dream Home Showplace is sponsored by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in which builders construct a home, sell it, and donate all proceeds to the hospital to fund life-saving cancer research.

“On the surface, going from studying English to building homes isn’t exactly linear, but they actually play off each other quite well insofar as my problem solving and communicative skills are concerned,” Magruder said. “As it turns out, the liberal arts elevated my level of professionalism and prepared me for becoming an entrepreneur.”

It all began when, in the wake of a couple of medical scares with his children, Magruder had the chance to go to the St. Jude golf tournament. As he was milling through the tournament’s silent auction, Magruder saw a table where participants could sign up to purchase a day’s supply of oxygen for a child at the hospital.

Reflecting upon how grateful he was for his children’s health, Magruder knew that some parents were not as fortunate. This would serve as the inception of his philanthropy to the hospital, and it grew from there. Beginning in 2016, each time Magruder Homes would close on one of their properties, they would donate $1,000 to St. Jude in the name of whoever bought their home. Because the joy of giving is contagious, soon Magruder wanted to do more on a much larger scale.

As the owner of Magruder Homes, Magruder often has the chance to sit down with other regional builders. In one of these meetings, another gentleman from St. Louis shared his experience of raffling off one of their homes and giving all the proceeds to St. Jude. This is what Magruder had been looking for.

In Texas, certain laws prohibit the state from having more than two raffles for the same charitable organization per year, so Magruder hopes to fund the house through discounted supplies, pro bono labor, and donations from the public.

“My belief is that through the Aggie Spirit, we’ll be able to build this house.” Magruder said. “As far as we know, we’re the only ones in the nation who have partnered with out competition to accomplish a greater good.”

As an English major, Magruder knows that the pen may be mightier than the sword, but in the case of Magruder Homes, the shovel is what gets stuff done.

For more information on how you can be a part of the St. Jude Dream Home, click here