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The 2020 Marist Mindset List

The Mindset List, aka the “always/never” list, is a compilation of key points about incoming college students. Created at Beloit College in 1998 to reflect the world view of entering first year students—and to help faculty understand incoming classes—the list started with the members of the class of 2002, born in 1980. In 2019, the list moved to Marist, becoming the Marist Mindset List. The list is widely considered a cultural touchstone.

 

Image of the Marist Mindset List team.

Under the direction of Associate Professor of English Tommy Zurhellen, Assistant Professor of Art and Digital Media Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Pablo Rivas, the list for the Class of 2024 will be the first iteration fully compiled by Marist. Zurhellen hopes to establish the list as “a cultural compass that tracks the challenges and celebrates the accomplishments of each incoming college class.”

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Under the direction of Associate Professor of English Tommy Zurhellen, Assistant Professor of Art and Digital Media Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Pablo Rivas, the list for the Class of 2024 will be the first iteration fully compiled by Marist. Zurhellen hopes to establish the list as “a cultural compass that tracks the challenges and celebrates the accomplishments of each incoming college class.”

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Timeline of the Mindset List

Jul 31, 1998

First Mindset List for the college class of 2002 is released.

Read the list

Nov 4, 2007

The New York Times article on the Mindset List, "Yes, You Are Old."

Read the article

Jul 1, 2011

The Mindset List of American History is published.

See the book

Jul 29, 2016

The Millennial Promise: 40 Tips from the Mindset List published.

See the book

Oct 25, 2018

The Mindset List moves to Marist.

Read the article

Aug 21, 2019

The first Marist Mindset List is released.

Read the list

Sep 9, 2020

The Mindset List for the Class of 2024 is released.

Read the list

Under the direction of Marist faculty, this year’s list is comprised of 10 items. Led by Associate Professor of English Tommy Zurhellen, the goal of the Marist Mindset List is to inspire thoughtful conversation. Each list item on the list for the class of 2024 was the result of research and discussion, and links to the background sources are included here to encourage delving into the topic areas.

Emerging artists and designers in the Class of 2024 will explore race relations beyond Black Lives Matter into a deeper understanding of how Whiteness has shaped bias and influence in contemporary American culture.

Featured Article:
Madison Jami Barr, Marist 2020 graduate of Art & Digital Media
“The Harmful Effects of Plea Deals” linocuts and phone app


Emerging artists and designers in the Class of 2024 will explore race relations beyond Black Lives Matter into a deeper understanding of how Whiteness has shaped bias and influence in contemporary American culture.

Featured Article:
Madison Jami Barr, Marist 2020 graduate of Art & Digital Media
“The Harmful Effects of Plea Deals” linocuts and phone app


Incoming students will rely on smart devices for shopping, interactive wellness-centered consumer experiences, and engaging in the social good.

Featured Article:
Rogers, Cosgrove, (2020, May 28) “Future Consumer Index: How to serve the 'Anxious Consumer' after COVID-19,” Ernst and Young Future Consumer Index


Incoming students will rely on smart devices for shopping, interactive wellness-centered consumer experiences, and engaging in the social good.

Featured Article:
Rogers, Cosgrove, (2020, May 28) “Future Consumer Index: How to serve the 'Anxious Consumer' after COVID-19,” Ernst and Young Future Consumer Index


The Class of 2024 may view the idea of “banned books” as an artifact from the past, but the Harry Potter series has been banned somewhere in America for their entire lifetimes, and To Kill a Mockingbird has appeared on the American Library Association (ALA) list of frequently challenged books eight times since 2004, due to perceived concerns over offensive language as well as racial and sexual themes.

Featured Article:
Banned Books Week: 4 Famous Library Censorship Cases, University of Southern California


The Class of 2024 may view the idea of “banned books” as an artifact from the past, but the Harry Potter series has been banned somewhere in America for their entire lifetimes, and To Kill a Mockingbird has appeared on the American Library Association (ALA) list of frequently challenged books eight times since 2004, due to perceived concerns over offensive language as well as racial and sexual themes.

Featured Article:
Banned Books Week: 4 Famous Library Censorship Cases, University of Southern California


Incoming students are willing to pay for their privacy. Privacy is now a commodity, and they value privacy for their real relationships.

Featured Article:
Walsh, D., Parisi, J. M., & Passerini, K. (2017). Privacy as a right or as a commodity in the online world: the limits of regulatory reform and self-regulation. Electronic Commerce Research, 17(2), 185-203.


Incoming students are willing to pay for their privacy. Privacy is now a commodity, and they value privacy for their real relationships.

Featured Article:
Walsh, D., Parisi, J. M., & Passerini, K. (2017). Privacy as a right or as a commodity in the online world: the limits of regulatory reform and self-regulation. Electronic Commerce Research, 17(2), 185-203.


The necessity of personal protection equipment (PPE) will drive fashion trends for the next couple of seasons as young designers in the class of 2024 adapt face masks and other PPE into functional objects of personal expression.

Featured Article:
Socha (2020, June 4.) “Chris Gelinas Is Pivoting From Designer Clothes to PPE: The New York-based designer is helping KleenWraps, a maker of antimicrobial grips, expand its range of accessories, and improve their appeal.”


The necessity of personal protection equipment (PPE) will drive fashion trends for the next couple of seasons as young designers in the class of 2024 adapt face masks and other PPE into functional objects of personal expression.

Featured Article:
Socha (2020, June 4.) “Chris Gelinas Is Pivoting From Designer Clothes to PPE: The New York-based designer is helping KleenWraps, a maker of antimicrobial grips, expand its range of accessories, and improve their appeal.”


For incoming students, the world political stage has always been post-9/11; Vladimir Putin has always been the leader of Russia, Tayyip Erdogan has always been leader of Turkey, and the United States military has always been involved in Afghanistan.

Featured Article:
Russian Strategic Narratives on R2P in the ‘Near Abroad’ by Dr. Juris Pupcenoks, Marist College


For incoming students, the world political stage has always been post-9/11; Vladimir Putin has always been the leader of Russia, Tayyip Erdogan has always been leader of Turkey, and the United States military has always been involved in Afghanistan.

Featured Article:
Russian Strategic Narratives on R2P in the ‘Near Abroad’ by Dr. Juris Pupcenoks, Marist College


The Class of 2024 (and, often, their teachers) expect and embrace a richer diversity of voices in the books they read, and their enthusiasm for young adult (YA) literature has led to the emergence of vibrant new voices such as Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), Marie Lu (Legend), and Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone). In addition, these students are shaping American literary culture like never before, by contributing commentary and adaptations in online forums such as GoodReads, Reddit, Twitter, and fanfic sites.

Featured Article:
10 Young Adult Books That Tackle Racism


The Class of 2024 (and, often, their teachers) expect and embrace a richer diversity of voices in the books they read, and their enthusiasm for young adult (YA) literature has led to the emergence of vibrant new voices such as Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), Marie Lu (Legend), and Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone). In addition, these students are shaping American literary culture like never before, by contributing commentary and adaptations in online forums such as GoodReads, Reddit, Twitter, and fanfic sites.

Featured Article:
10 Young Adult Books That Tackle Racism


Incoming students are keenly aware of the major threats to the health of our society created by both an international pandemic and the global climate crisis, while at the same time, the value of science in our national dialogue is increasingly questioned.

Featured Website:
climateodyssey.org


Incoming students are keenly aware of the major threats to the health of our society created by both an international pandemic and the global climate crisis, while at the same time, the value of science in our national dialogue is increasingly questioned.

Featured Website:
climateodyssey.org


Social distancing provided a captive audience for the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance.” This phenomenon allowed the Class of 2024 to see for themselves the evolution of the NBA game in the last twenty years, sparking new debate over how past heroes such as Michael Jordan compare to their favorite players of today like LeBron and Giannis as G.O.A.T.

Featured Article:
Michael Jordan changed the fashion game, one beret and gold hoop at a time


Social distancing provided a captive audience for the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance.” This phenomenon allowed the Class of 2024 to see for themselves the evolution of the NBA game in the last twenty years, sparking new debate over how past heroes such as Michael Jordan compare to their favorite players of today like LeBron and Giannis as G.O.A.T.

Featured Article:
Michael Jordan changed the fashion game, one beret and gold hoop at a time


Incoming students have never been more ready to embrace social distance by using technology to fill the distance gap. They are always looking for the newest upgrade.

Featured Article:
Bellezza, S., Ackerman, J. M., & Gino, F. (2017). “Be careless with that!” Availability of product upgrades increases cavalier behavior toward possessions. Journal of Marketing Research, 54(5), 768-784.


Incoming students have never been more ready to embrace social distance by using technology to fill the distance gap. They are always looking for the newest upgrade.

Featured Article:
Bellezza, S., Ackerman, J. M., & Gino, F. (2017). “Be careless with that!” Availability of product upgrades increases cavalier behavior toward possessions. Journal of Marketing Research, 54(5), 768-784.


Image of Mindset List founders

Created by Tom McBride and Ron Nief at Beloit College in 1998, the list was meant to reflect the world view of entering first year students—and to help faculty understand incoming classes—the list started with the members of the class of 2002, born in 1980. In the 20 years since, The Mindset List has been a valuable marker of social, economic, and cultural change for successive generations as they have progressed through American institutions of higher education.

Read More

Created by Tom McBride and Ron Nief at Beloit College in 1998, the list was meant to reflect the world view of entering first year students—and to help faculty understand incoming classes—the list started with the members of the class of 2002, born in 1980. In the 20 years since, The Mindset List has been a valuable marker of social, economic, and cultural change for successive generations as they have progressed through American institutions of higher education.

Read More

Read the Marist Mindset List for the College Class of 2023

Born in 2001 the incoming class of college students never shared the earth with Joey Ramone, George Harrison, Timothy McVeigh, or Ken Kesey.

Among their classmates could be Billie Eilish, Sasha Obama, or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s daughter Simone.

  1. Like Pearl Harbor for their grandparents, and the Kennedy assassination for their parents, 9/11 is an historical event. 
  2. Thumb, jump, and USB flash drives have always pushed floppy disks further into history.
  3. The primary use of a phone has always been to take pictures.
  4. The nation’s mantra has always been: “If you see something, say something.”
  5. The Tech Big Four--Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google -- are to them what the Big Three automakers were to their grandparents.
  6. Their smart pens may write and record faster than they can think.
  7. Nearly half of their generation is composed of people of color.
  8. When they pulled themselves up off the floor for the first time, they may have been hanging onto the folks’ brand-new Xbox.
  9. There have always been indecisive quadrennial debates regarding the future of the Electoral College.
  10. Oklahoma City has always had a national memorial at its center.
  11. Self-contained, battery-powered artificial hearts have always been ticking away.
  12. Because of Richard Reid’s explosive footwear at 30,000 feet, passengers have always had to take off their shoes to slide through security on the ground. 
  13. They are as non-judgmental about sexual orientation as their parents were about smoking pot. 
  14. They have outlived iTunes.
  15. Heinous, sexually-based offenses have always been investigated by the Special Victims Unit on Law and Order.
  16. The Mars Odyssey has always been checking out the water supply for their future visits to Mars.
  17. Snapchat has become their social media app of choice, thus relieving them of the dilemma of whether or not to friend Mom.    
  18. In an unprecedented move, European nations via NATO have always helped to defend the U.S. militarily.
  19. They may well not have a younger sibling, as the birth rate in the U.S. has been dropping since they were in grammar school.
  20. PayPal has always been an online option for purchasers.
  21. They have witnessed two African-American Secretaries of State, the election of a black President, Disney’s first black Princess, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
  22. As they crawled on the floor, TV headlines began crawling at the bottom of the TV screen. 
  23. “Pink slime” has always been a food additive.
  24. With flyovers, honor guards, and “God Bless America,” sporting events have always been marked by emphatic patriotism. 
  25. Only two-thirds of this generation identify as exclusively heterosexual.
  26. Segways have always been trying to revolutionize the way people move. 
  27. YouTube has become the video version of Wikipedia.
  28. There has always been an International Criminal Court, and the U.S. has never been a signatory.
  29. Newfoundland and Labrador has always been, officially, Newfoundland-and-Labrador.
  30. There has always been an American Taliban.
  31. By their sophomore year, their generation will constitute one-quarter of the U.S. population.
  32. Apple iPods have always been nostalgic.
  33. They have always been able to fly Jet Blue, but never Ted and Song.
  34. Quarterback Troy Aikman has always called the plays live from the press booth.
  35. It has always been illegal to use a hand-held cell phone while driving in New York State.
  36. Except for when he celebrated Jeopardy’s 35th anniversary, Alex Trebek has never had a moustache.
  37. Face recognition technology has always been used at public events
  38. Skilled DJs have transitioned into turntablists.
  39. The Apple Power Mac Cube has always been in a museum. 
  40. The year they were born, the top NBA draft pick came directly out of high school for the first time.
  41. They have always been concerned about catching the West Nile virus.
  42. There has always been a DisneySea in Tokyo.
  43. They have grown up with Big Data and ubiquitous algorithms that know what they want before they do.
  44. Most of them will rent, not buy, their textbooks. 
  45. They have probably all been “gaslighted” or “ghosted.”
  46. There have always been “smartwatches.”
  47. Their grandparents’ classic comics have evolved into graphic novels.
  48. They have grown up with a Patriot Act that has dramatically increased state surveillance to prevent terrorism.
  49. Defibrillators have always been so simple to use that they can be installed at home.
  50. Pittsburgh’s Steelers and Pirates have never played at Three Rivers Stadium.
  51. Congress has always banned human cloning completely and threatened arrest for offenders.
  52. At least one of the murderers of the four school girls in Birmingham, Ala. in 1963 has always been in prison.
  53. Monica and Chandler have always been married on Friends.
  54. Blackboards have never been dumb.
  55. A Catholic Pope has always visited a mosque.
  56. Cal Ripken, Jr., has always been retired.
  57. The U.S. has always been withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
  58. Euthanasia has always been legal in the Netherlands.
  59. Teams have always been engaged in an Amazing Race around the world.  
  60. Coke and Pepsi have always been competing in the sports hydration science marketplace.

Press Coverage

National Association of Plan Advisors

"The Class of 2024", September 15, 2020

University Business

"‘Marist Mindset’: 10 key issues shaping students’ worldview," September 9, 2020

Inside Higher Ed

"Mindset List Takes New Form," September 9, 2020

Chicago Tribune

"Column: Something to cry about: The rise of the surveillance state after 9/11," September 12, 2019

Spectrum News 1

"Marist College Mindset List reveals the world of Class of 2023," August 26, 2019

The Chronicle of Higher Education

"The ‘Mind-Set List,’ a Whimsical Reminder of Generational Change on Campuses, Gets a New Home," August 21, 2019

Inside Higher Ed

"Mind-Set List Moves to Marist," October 26, 2018

Mindset List Contributors

Andrew Alongi, Director of Marketing

Geoff Brackett, Executive Vice President

Elizabeth Clarke, Associate Librarian

Julia Fishman, Director of Media Relations

Moira Fitzgibbons, Professor of English

Sean Kaylor, Vice President, Enrollment, Marketing & Communication

Zion Klos, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science

Vanessa Lyn, Assistant Professor of Education

Tom McBride, Emeritus Professor of English, Beloit College, and Mindset List co-founder

Ron Nief, Emeritus Director of Public Relations, Beloit College, and Mindset List co-founder

Juris Pupcenoks, Associate Professor of Political Science

Leander Schaerlaeckens, Professional Lecturer

Martin Shaffer, Dean, School of Liberal Arts

Caitlin Weiner, Assistant Director, Marketing

Charles Westerberg, Professor of Sociology, Beloit College

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Want to leave us a comment on this year's Marist Mindset List, or suggest an item for next year's List? Send us an email at mindset@marist.edu.