Tom’s Bio & Photos of His Work

with Saunders Construction


The Tom McMahon Construction Scholarship Fund Memorial Biography If you are reading this you are interested in applying for The Tom McMahon Construction Scholarship. To truly appreciate this scholarship, you must understand that Tom was not just an ordinary man. He was a dedicated family man, proud Marine, along with being a highly accomplished and respected construction superintendent.


Tom McMahon loved his family. His family not only consisted of his wife, three sons and grandchildren, but also the crews he worked with each day. Tom lived by example. He would never expect anyone to do something he wouldn't do himself. He lived every day with a positive, optimistic attitude ready to share his time and talents with family and friends. Tom embraced life with an infectious energy that spread to those around him. This characteristic seemed to draw the best out of everyone he was around, whether it was at home or on the job.


Tom enlisted in the Marines in 1965 during the height of the Vietnam War. He was a proud American and honored veteran. After earning a "Purple Heart", Tom returned for a second tour and worked on a construction battalion as a lead carpenter with a South Vietnamese crew. It was through this experience that he gained many of the principals that governed his role as superintendent. Tom had an impeccable work ethic. He expected his crew to work hard every day; to be responsible and reliable and in return he would give that same level of work ethic back to them. Tom always worked right along side his crew, teaching, sharing his craft, and mentoring to many young "builders" as he fondly called his profession.


Tom worked for Saunders Construction Company in Denver, Colorado for 27 years. As a Colorado native he was proud of the projects he built around the Denver metro area; including The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, University of Denver College of Law, and Lucent Technologies Corporate Headquarters. Tom was twice a winner of the Superintendent of the Year Award from the American Subcontractors Association of Colorado. He was extremely humble about these distinctions knowing that the most important thing to him were the people he worked with on the job. Tom respected his crew, treating them like his own family. His crew would do anything Tom asked them to do. This is the highest compliment given to a boss and explains why he was considered one of the best superintendents at Saunders Construction.


According to Albert Einstein, "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge". Tom believed that the passing on of knowledge was the responsibility of each of us. Sharing his crafts was one of his greatest treasures. Through this scholarship, Tom will be able to continue to awaken the joy of "building the best building" in future construction builders.


-Joan Chapman-Smith

Arvada Center

DU Law

Focus on the Family

Eldorado Ridge

Lucent Technologies

Union Park Plaza

Fiddlers Green

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