PLANO (June 25, 2015) — On Thursday, Collin College announced the loss of a great leader as Tino Trujillo, a founding member of the college’s Board of Trustees, passed away this week while visiting family in Mexico.
A memorial service is set for noon on Thursday, July 9 at the Spring Creek Campus Conference Center at 2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway in Plano. The flags on all campuses of Collin College will be lowered to half-staff in Trujillo’s honor, and a tree will be planted on campus. Memorial gifts can be made to the Collin College Foundation for the Tino Trujillo Scholarship Fund by calling 972-599-3144.
Trujillo was elected to Place 7 on the college’s first Board of Trustees in 1985. He won five elections for six-year terms before retiring last year after nearly 30 years of distinguished service to the college. He was integral in the formation and governance of the college district and served as a board officer in the roles of treasurer, secretary and vice chair. During his tenure, the college grew from 1,300 students on one campus to nearly 52,000 annually at seven sites.
Fortino “Tino” Trujillo was born in Villa Victoria, Mexico as the 11th of 13 children. He attended the University of Mexico City majoring in economics and worked as a federal tax collector, industry inspector and economist for the government of Mexico before immigrating to the United States in 1952. He served in the United States Army and eventually became a partner at his first restaurant in Glendale, Calif. After moving to Texas, he opened his legendary restaurant Tino’s Restaurant and Cantina in 1976, when the population of Plano was just 43,000.
According to Dr. Bob Collins, who served alongside Trujillo as a founding trustee and is the current chair for the college’s board, “My relationship with Tino goes back almost 40 years. He was a great friend, leader for this college and servant to the community. He quietly and in his own special way influenced Plano and Collin, and we are very sad to lose him. He was a gracious, friendly, fun-loving person who enjoyed entertaining friends and customers in his restaurant that carried his name. Tino’s commitment to education and legacy of self-sacrifice, integrity and service will live on as an example for generations to come. I, and many others who knew him as a friend, will miss him.”
Trujillo was reportedly the first person of Hispanic origin elected to public office in Collin County. His service to the community included the board of directors for the Collin College Foundation, Plano Rotary Club, Plano Chamber of Commerce, American Cancer Society, Dallas Restaurant Association and Compass Bank of Dallas as well as service with the Salvation Army of Collin County, Republican Men’s Club of Plano, Craig Gilbert Foundation, Hendricks Academy of Honor and Plano Independent School District Advisory Committees for Foreign Language and Career Development. He also established the “Taste of Plano” food festival. For his contributions to the community, he was honored as Plano’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year and Small Business Person of the Year as well as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year.
Trujillo joked that he leveraged the popularity of his restaurants to get signatures for the petition to establish Collin College back in the mid-1980s. He explained that he would say to restaurant patrons, “Do you want this enchilada? Then sign this petition.” No one knows if the tale is true or just a playful urban legend.
About Collin College
Collin College is a community college located in North Texas’ Collin County, the only public college in the county. One of the fastest-growing community colleges or universities in Texas, the college serves nearly 53,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates in a wide range of disciplines. With seven campuses throughout the college district, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and workforce development. Collin College has locations in Plano (Spring Creek Campus), McKinney (Central Park Campus) and Frisco (Preston Ridge Campus). In addition, there are satellite centers in Allen, Plano and Rockwall. For more information, visit collin.edu.