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Inside the WUDwork with Mills Botham

Meet Mills Botham, Our Wisconsin Union President!


Year: Senior

Major: History with a certificate in Classics

Why did you join WUD?

My path into WUD was somewhat indirect. When I started college at UW Madison, I had already been a part of the Hoofer Sailing Club for 8 years as a student, and later instructor, in their Youth Program. As a freshman, I was selected to be a part of the Sailing Club's Board fo Captains. With the Hoofer Clubs as a part of WUD, this was my first foray into Directorate. I joined then because I knew all the potential the Sailing Club had to offer as a contributor to the Union, and vice versa. I wanted to be able to help steer the future of an organization that had meant so much to me as a young man. My involvement grew over the years, and I was elected to be Commodore (President) of the Hoofer Sailing Club for my Sophomore year, and reelected for my Junior year. In the spring of 2018, I was selected to be the 2018-19 Wisconsin Union President.

What made you stay in WUD?

I stayed in WUD because as I spent more time in my role as Commodore, I came to realize that the Sailing Club and the Wisconsin Union were primary aspects of shaping what my time in college was becoming. Directorate is the avenue for students to have a say in what goes on at the Union, and having the opportunity to shape that meant everything to me, then and now.

What is your favorite part of WUD?

My favorite part of WUD is getting to see the impact that it has on the lives of those who become a part of it. Many people have found a home and a family with Directorate, gaining valuable skills and lifelong friends as they go. I've been privileged to watch many students become superb leaders, and I hope that I've helped a few of them along the way. WUD inspires those who become a part of it to realize that they are capable of extraordinary things, and challenges them to seek out opportunities that they otherwise might have never thought to look for.

What does WUD mean to you?

To me, WUD is perhaps the finest representation of what student involvement can mean on a college campus. The University of Wisconsin Madison is a world class institution, and the Wisconsin Union was one of the birthplaces of the College Union Idea. It remains at the forefront of what student leadership can accomplish, and Directorate is the place that that idea is put into action. Directorate continues to show that student leaders have the capacity to do great things on behalf of their peers and their campus.

What would you tell someone who is thinking of joining WUD?

I would tell anyone who would listen that regardless of what their interests are, there's a place for them within Directorate. Anyone can make Directorate a part of their collegiate career if they so choose, and they'll find open arms waiting for them at the Wisconsin Union.

What is your favorite place in the union?

My favorite place at the Union is the small balcony off the Main Lounge that overlooks the Terrace on the second floor of Memorial Union. It has a magnificent view of Lake Mendota and the Terrace, and has always been one of my favorite spots on campus.

For information on how to get involved with Wisconsin Union Directorate, check out their website or facebook page.