Alumni leading the telecommunications industry

Roy Wilkens, EE’66, and Mario A. Padilla, MetE’60, worked for years to challenge and change the status of the telecommunications industry in the early to mid 1990s. 

Wilkens, founder, president and CEO of telecommunications company WilTel, worked to challenge and outpace the “big three” at the time of AT&T, MCI and Sprint. His 3,500 employees worked with business communications to provide network solutions. “All I had was a gimmick to start out with, and that was putting fiber inside a pipe,” says Wilkens about his fiber-optics cable project that turned into a company. 

Padilla was vice president of new markets business development for AT&T in Morristown, N.J. He stated in 1993 to Missouri S&T Magazine that “we have come to the age of The Jetsons,” when referring to a communications revolution that would affect our life as dramatically as interstate highways or televisions. 

For some, it is hard to imagine a life without the communication devices we have today, but perhaps future Miners can pick up the mantle of the two and continue to develop new technologies. 

Share This Story

Spark a Memory?

Share your story! Fill out the form below to share your fondest memory or anecdote of S&T. If you'd prefer not typing, you can also share by phone at 833-646-3715 (833-Miner150).

Endurance was her middle name

Endurance was her middle name

The first woman to earn a degree from S&T, Eva Endurance Hirdler Greene, class of 1911, received the general science…

Kristy Giacomelli-Feys and Dimitri Feys

Kristy Giacomelli-Feys and Dimitri Feys

Finding love after a divorce can feel like a fool’s errand. But for Kristy Giacomelli-Feys and Dimitri Feys, their first…

Taylor Husman and Tyler Recker

Taylor Husman and Tyler Recker

Taylor Husman and Tyler Recker met on the patio of Kappa Sigma fraternity on their second night at S&T in…

AJ (Bedwell) and Patrick Prawitz

AJ (Bedwell) and Patrick Prawitz

AJ (Bedwell) and Patrick Prawitz met in spring 2004 as castmates of the musical, Annie Get Your Gun. “I was…

Rosalie (Larson) and Stan Hadley

Rosalie (Larson) and Stan Hadley

Rosalie (Larson) and Stan Hadley met one Friday in September 1977 in TJ Hall. Rosalie’s roommate was a lab partner…

Sarah (Lewey) and Leslie “Les” McDaniel

Sarah (Lewey) and Leslie “Les” McDaniel

When Sarah (Lewey) and Leslie “Les” McDaniel met in 2013 at a local bar called the Grotto, it was all…