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NMSU engineering alumnus honors father with scholarship

Release Date: 26 Feb 2020
NMSU engineering alumnus honors father with scholarship

To honor his father’s legacy as a lifelong educator who was happiest in the classroom, Roy Trujillo knew he wanted to help students. As a result, Trujillo established a scholarship in the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University.

The Mr. Ben Trujillo Memorial Endowed Scholarship in the Department of Industrial Engineering will benefit young engineering students.

Roy Trujillo’s father Benjamin was born and raised in Chimayo, New Mexico. He was affectionately known as “Mr. Ben,” and taught high school math for 35 years at Pojoaque High School in Santa Fe. He also taught evening, weekend and summer classes at the University of New Mexico, Northern New Mexico College, College of Santa Fe and New Mexico State Penitentiary before his death in 2008.

“My dad was gifted with a brilliant mind for math, physics and statistics,” Trujillo said. “He was a lifelong teacher and inspiration to many people in northern New Mexico.”

Roy Trujillo, a 1988 industrial engineering graduate from NMSU, said his father’s dedication to education inspired countless students to study math, engineering and the sciences.

Roy Trujillo is the chief operating officer for TransPerfect Global. Philip Shawe, TransPerfect Global founder, president and CEO, provided half of the endowment funds.

“Students will benefit from the generosity of alumni like Roy and his generous employer for generations to come,” said Leslie Cervantes, interim president of the NMSU Foundation. “That impact is appreciated.”

“We thank you profoundly on behalf of not just industrial engineering, which this will benefit, but also on behalf of all the faculty, staff and students,” said Lakshmi N. Reddi, dean of the College of Engineering. 

As a student, Ben Trujillo studied mathematics and statistics at UNM, Boston College, Penn State and Central Michigan University. He earned a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees, and completed the coursework and wrote a thesis for a Ph.D., but didn’t formally defend it because he didn’t need it to teach high school, his son recalled.

Trujillo remembers his father often saying “if you are going to judge me, judge me by the accomplishments of those I teach, for that is all that matters to me, and that is all that should concern you.” 

The scholarship will be awarded to an engineering major who is a freshman or sophomore and a resident of New Mexico, with preference for an industrial engineering major with minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 who is a resident of Rio Arriba, Taos, Santa Fe, Mora San Juan, McKinley or San Miguel counties.

“It was a special opportunity to be able to come here and honor my father, and to set the foundation for a long-term relationship between New Mexico State and TransPerfect,” Trujillo said.

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