Texas Caissons Scholarship/
Colonel Lawson W. Magruder, Jr.
(US Army Retired) Memorial
The Texas Exes of The University of Texas at Austin
Background: Col.Lawson W. Magruder, Jr. was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi on 6 Oct 1917. His family moved to Waco, Texas in Aug 1925 where he attended schools in the Waco School District graduating in 1934 from Waco High. He lettered in football and baseball and quarterbacked one of the great Paul Tyson teams in 1933. A devoted Longhorn, he attended the University of Texas at Austin graduating with a business degree in 1942 and an Education degree in 1978. While at UT, he was President of Kappa Sigma fraternity and played on the golf team.
At the outbreak of World War II, Col Magruder voluntarily enlisted in our Army and went on to serve honorably for over 31 years. He retired on 1 Feb 1973 after serving five years as the Professor of Military Science at the University of Texas at Austin during the height of the Vietnam War. As a highly decorated Colonel of Infantry, his combat service spanned ten campaigns in World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. Some of his career highlights were: landing at Utah Beach on 6 Jun 1944 with his beloved 22d Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division; company command at the breakout of St La; battalion command in the 7th Regiment, 3d Infantry Division during the counteroffensive of 1951; and the Inspector General for Gen Westmoreland's command in Vietnam in 1966- 1967. His peacetime assignments included tours in Great Britain, France, the Philippines, and Texas A&M. His awards included the Legion of Merit, Silver Star, Bronze Star (4 awards) with Valor device, Purple Heart (three awards), and the Combat Infantryman's Badge (2 awards).
Throughout Col Magruder's distinguished career, he was loved and devotedly supported by his spouse, Mary Anne Windrow Magruder of Dallas. She preceded him in death on 25 Jan 1985 after 45 years of marriage. They are survived by three daughters: Anne W. Magruder of Waco, Sallie C. Wood and her husband, Charles G. Wood of San Rafael, Ca, and Mary Lynne Collins of Huntsville; a son, LTG Lawson W. Magruder III (US Army, Retired) and his wife, Gloria; ten grandchildren; and five great grandchildren. He shared the last 16 years of his life in Waco with his wife and childhood friend, Virginia "Jinx" Turner Harriss.
Col Magruder was an avid, scratch handicap amateur golfer. He represented the Army in Inter-service Championships and won many military club championships. He also played in the British, French and Philippine Amateur championships. His love of the game was nurtured by his mother, Minnie Crawford, who was a Texas State Women's Champion.
In "retirement" from the Army, Col Magruder devoted his time to his family, his community and his church. In Austin he was master fund-raiser for the first Vietnam Veteran's memorial in Travis County, life member of the NW Kiwanis Club, substitute high school teacher, and a layperson at St Theresa's Catholic Church. In Waco, he was the founder of the Central Texas Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars, a lay reader at St Louis Catholic Church, a volunteer for over nine years at the VA Hospital and at Parkdale and Lake Waco Elementary Schools.
Col Magruder was honored as a Distinguished Member of his beloved 22d Infantry Regiment. In this role, he was instrumental in perpetuating the memory of his fallen comrades and the legacy of one of our Army's most historic units.
Col Magruder passed away on 1 February 2003. His legacy as a soldier, community leader and family man lives on. This scholarship is to go to an MS IV cadet who exemplifies two Army values that were cherished by Col Magruder: Duty and Integrity. He also frequently spoke about maintaining a positive attitude in every endeavor. Col Magruder's primary emphasis as PMS was ensuring the cadets were grounded in the fundamentals before they went off to the war in Vietnam and imbuing them with an absolute sense of duty and honesty and integrity before they were commissioned.