A Little Magruder History....
Magruder first opened its doors on February 2, 1959 as an elementary school (K-8) with 450 students It had it's official opening ceremony and dedication on Wednesday, March 4, 1959. At this time, Torrance Unified was a young growing school district: having separated from Los Angeles Unified School District in 1947.
Magruder became a middle school in 1969. It currently has the capacity for 892 students. The original campus site was 11.4 acres bought in 1957 for $163,000. There were building additions that were made in 1960, 1972, 1975 and 1990. During the summer of 2011 Magruder underwent an extensive renovation thanks to funds from Bond Measure T&U.. Worked continued during the following school year for all classrooms, lunch area, and walkways. In January of 2019 construction was started on a gymnasium for the school with funds from Bond measure Y&Z.
Who was Philip Magruder?
Mr. Magruder was born on July 11, 1897. He came to California as a gas tester for the oil industry in 1925. He rose through the oil industry ranks and became Executive Vice President of General Petroleum (which later merged with Mobil Oil) in 1948.
During his time, he was known as a very prominent citizen. Taking lead roles in various organizations such as: The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, The Los Angeles World Affairs Council, The California Manufacturers Association, Rotor Club, and President of the Los Angeles Area Council of Boy Scouts.
Because of the local refinery Mr. Magruder worked closely with the city of Torrance. He took special interest in the newly formed school district and was a key advisor especially for financial matters. So, when the new elementary school (there were no middle schools in Torrance yet) opened near the refinery it was appropriately named after Mr. Magruder. In a 1959 news paper article, then Torrance Unified School District Superintendent J.H. Hull said they named our school after Mr. Philip Magruder for his "constant and constructive attitude for the solution of problems of financing public education in the Torrance Unified School District". You can read the newspaper account of the dedication ceremony on the links below.
Mr. Magruder died on July 30, 1971.