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).

Giving others an opportunity

Giving others an opportunity

Steven Frey works to ensure others have the opportunity to attend graduate programs at S&T like he did. Frey says…

Not your average Joe

Not your average Joe

You know all about Joe Miner, the world’s greatest mascot. But do you know Joe Minor, the civil engineer? Joseph…

From S&T soccer to the state capitol

From S&T soccer to the state capitol

You might think that with the thousands of graduates Missouri S&T has produced over its 150-year history, at least a…

Tom Benton’s ‘Missouri,’ from mural to movie

Tom Benton’s ‘Missouri,’ from mural to movie

It was “over a few root beer floats” one night that James Bogan and Frank Fillo decided to make a…

Camille (Anderson) and Mark Herrera

Camille (Anderson) and Mark Herrera

Camille (Anderson) and Mark Herrera met in February 2007 after a mutual friend arranged for a double date at Alex’s…

Builders of the bomb

Builders of the bomb

The U.S. government’s Manhattan Project, which led to the development of the first nuclear weapons, was a massive but highly…