For a guy whose favorite superhero is the Flash, it was a dream come true for Student Government Association President-elect Mike Keller to jump to the front of the pack, bolt across the finish line and claim the SGA presidency.
Keller was born in the small-town of Winamac, Ind., a city in the northwest part of the state with a population of about 2,400 people.
Now, he’s a sophomore biology and pre-med major with aspirations of attending medical school after college and becoming a doctor, likely in his hometown.
“[Being a doctor] is really something that I’m driven toward as a career that I feel like I can help people but at the same time really think deeply and solve some really interesting problems,” he said.
“I particularly want to go into family medicine. I could see myself going back to Winamac to be the doctor because in Winamac we have doctors, but they do everything.”
Although he is a science major, Keller said his favorite classes are history classes. His favorite modern president is Dwight Eisenhower, but going back, he’s a huge fan of Thomas Jefferson.
Keller said his strongest personal trait is his natural public speaking skills, which helped him during his campaign. He thinks they will be key to being a strong voice as SGA president.
Keller said he thinks he most important job for an SGA president is being a voice for other students.
He said it is his job to tell President Jim Danko and administrators what students want to see happen.
He also said he thinks all administrators want to do what they think is right for Butler University, so naturally they will want to take students’ opinions into consideration.
“You can shape the future of this school quite a bit just by making your voice known,” he said.
Keller’s drive originates from men like his father and grandfather who he said worked hard and sacrificed a lot in order to give him a better chance at life.
Keller said his grandpa worked until he was very old in order to give his kids a good chance at a better live, and his dad worked hard to give him a much easier life than he had ever had.
“I feel like I owe them a lot because they had to sacrifice a lot for me to have a much easier time,” he said.
Keller said their support and influence will make him take the position seriously.
“It is very humbling to know that a lot of people have put trust in me, that this is a big job with a lot of responsibility and they picked me to be the one to take it,” he said. “It really, truly means a lot. I’m going to work my butt off to make sure I don’t let these people down.”
Keller said he has been generally happier since coming to Butler and loves the sense of community and activity Butler
On his first tour he was interested by Butler’s size and activity, but what really captivated him was the people.
“You could easily forget this was a small campus because everyone was doing something,” he said. “Even on a tour you could see that these are people who have very active lives. They’re doing a lot of things even outside of the classroom.”
The positive and friendly people appealed to Keller and pushed him to do better and break out of his comfort zone, he said.
“You come to appreciate that and come to find yourself doing things you’d never thought in your life that you’d do, like running for SGA president,” he said. “There’s such a community here that really makes you a better person.”
Keller said it was that push that encouraged him to run for SGA president after serving on SGA’s finance board as the grants chairman during his sophomore year. He started to see the upper levels of SGA and a lot of opportunity to make changes, which eventually developed into a collection of ideas, he said.
“It’s just having the courage to go for it,” he said.
Keller broke the news to his Delta Tau Delta brothers by feigning a phone call, having received the news privately 45 minutes prior.
“I consider myself a religious person, and I wanted to have that moment where it would be just me and God, either win or lose,” he said.
But his brothers were extremely supportive every step of the way through the election, he said, and he wanted the revelation to be dramatic.
“It was an awesome moment because they were all so excited,” he said. “I hope I never forget that. It was one of the big, happy, exciting moments of my life.”
Keller said that as SGA president, he hopes to grow as a person by learning how to delegate tasks more and get away from his natural tendency to take things up himself.
He said he hopes he’ll have a great executive team to spread responsibility out among all of them and hopefully allow SGA to work a lot better.