Tom Milteer sits down wearing a simple tee, and the absence of an armful of books reveals the unassuming nature of this well-known senior. After counting the number of people he greets who pass by our table at the Daily Grind, I’m not surprised to hear how much Tom loves the College of William and Mary’s buzzword: community. A member of Theta Delta Chi, this country boy and self-described eternal optimist talks about the joys of late nights on campus, Wawa sandwiches and kickball with the admissions office deans.
As a senior, what’s one thing you think College students shouldn’t miss out on?
I’d say just those spontaneous nights you have with your best friends in the entire world that you’ve met here. The random Sunken Garden excursions and Wawa adventures — all those little things are what you’re going to remember when you graduate, or senior year when you’re looking back. You can’t miss out on that.
You mentioned Wawa. What is your favorite sandwich?
Well, whenever I go to Wawa, I will go to the computer and select a whole wheat shortie. I’ll get honey-smoked turkey, cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato. Oh, and oregano.
Sounds good. If I turned on your iPod right now, what would I hear?
It’s broken right now. But if it was working and you hit play, my favorite song right now is off of T.I.’s new album, and it’s called “Live Your Life” featuring Rihanna. It’s just amazing, and it’s stuck in my head right now, so it’s funny you should ask.
If you could sight-see anywhere in the world, what landmark would you visit?
It’s a hard question for me because I’ve never been to Europe or Asia. It would be hard for me to narrow down. I’d want to see as much as I possibly can. I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids in Egypt though. That would be really cool. Ever since I was a kid I’ve imagined how they would look.
What has been your best job?
Definitely this past summer when I worked as a senior interviewer in the Admissions Office. I worked with amazing interns. I woke up every morning excited to go to work just because everyone there is so much fun. The deans are fun. We played kickball against them. It’s an annual tradition. The interns have yet to win; we lost unfortunately.
You lost to the deans?
We lost to the deans playing kickball. But we went all out — we had black bandanas and handmade uniforms for it.
I hear you and your friends are involved in something called “Tuesday Tradition.” What is it?
My friend and I both love “The Price Is Right,” so on Tuesdays we meet at 11 in the Marketplace. We get our food and we sit down, hoard the TV and change it to “The Price Is Right.” Then we have commentary about the show for the whole hour. It’s great. Often we get others involved too and start yelling at the TV and stuff.
What qualities do you value in your friends?
I’ve thought about this before, and I think I really value people who are genuine. Genuine. That’s the main word. They could be anyone, but as long as they’re being genuinely true to themselves, then I admire that, even if I don’t necessarily fully connect with them.
What’s something most people probably don’t know about you?
I think most people don’t realize that I’m not from NoVa. Most people wouldn’t think that I grew up on a farm and that both of my grandfathers are farmers and my brother is into farming. My grandparents live across the street from me and they live on a farm, so my house is surrounded by fields. I didn’t really interact with the animals much, I just have memories of riding in a tractor with my grandfather and pictures of that.
You’re really involved in TDX and UCAB, but do you have anything else in the works right now?
I wanted to bring my marketing and event-planning experience to a charity, so I got involved with the Bone Marrow Drive. It’s been fun. We’re planning WMTV right now, so we’re recruiting William and Mary students to be in trashy reality MTV shows and get their friends to come watch. They did it last year and we’re doing it again this year. It’s on Election Day, so we’re like, “Take a break from politics: Come watch your friends on trashy reality MTV!” That’s how we’re marketing it.
Whether you find him as the composed spokesman of one of his social or philanthropic organizations on campus or yelling at a Marketplace television during lunch hour, Tom serves as a great example of the thriving community that the College seeks to embody.