From the Mindset List


by Tom McBride

Dear Boomers and Millennials: We must shed the coronavirus of division and complacency among us. This is your Hopeful Leader speaking. You have been apart, for Millennials feel that capitalism has worked for Boomers but not for them, and that Boomers have gotten the lion’s share of capitalism’s benefits. Meanwhile, Boomers don’t know wy Millennials would rather look at their smart phones than look at them. But that was all before Covid. After Covid the two generations—you young and old alike—can come together. The Generation Gap will have passed, along with the virus itself. What can I say, and how shall I lead, in order to make this come about?  First, Covid has taught us that Evil is no respecter   Read on »


by Tom McBride

Flus Have Always Been Spanish Tom McBride Suppose there had been a Marist Mindset List for the college class of 10440. The first item on the List might have been: “The flu has always been Spanish.” College grads in 1940 were born in 1918, the year of the last COVD-19 scale pandemic in the United States. This was not the coronavirus, which had not yet hatched itself.  It was the Spanish Flu.  President Trump has sometimes called COVD-19 the “Chinese virus” because, he says, it came from China. The Spanish flu, though, didn’t come from Spain. It was so-called because when the flu hit Spain, which was not at war (this was the end of World War I), reports of the   Read on »

The Marist College Mindset List, Class of 2023

by Tom McBride

Like Pearl Harbor for their grandparents, and the Kennedy assassination for their parents, 9/11 is an historical event.  Thumb, jump, and USB flash drives have always pushed floppy disks further into history. The primary use of a phone has always been to take pictures. The nation’s mantra has always been: “If you see something, say something.” The Tech Big Four–Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google — are to them what the Big Three automakers were to their grandparents. Their smart pens may write and record faster than they can think. Nearly half of their generation is composed of people of color. When they pulled themselves up off the floor for the first time, they may have been hanging onto the folks’   Read on »

How to LIST-ify Your Classroom: 7 Lists…7 Tips

by Tom McBride

How To LISTify Your Classroom 7 Lists…7 Tips The Marist Mindset List is a famed annual event because it supplies a witty and provocative list of items about what has “always” or “never” been true in the lives of entering college students. But the Marist List is much more than a yearly event. Here we offer some teaching tips based on creative uses of—you guessed it—LISTS. Welcome to How to LIST-ify Your Classroom. Lists: They aren’t just for supermarkets or even just for mindsets any more. –T.M. (Contact:  List Number 1: The First Day List  We’re so familiar with making a list that we don’t ee its creative potential. To start with, every list has two parts: what’s on it and what’s not   Read on »


by Tom McBride

During the Middle Ages the church would put skulls on bridges in order to remind people that death was near. Time was short, so it behooved those still alive to prepare for their own demise and to get their souls ready so that they would be acceptable in the after-life. One character in a medieval play, Everyman, dawdled. He thought time was long; that he had plenty of time. He learned otherwise and barely got ready for the judgment of Heaven.  In some ways the Marist List is also a memento mori. To be sure, it’s not a skull on a medieval bridge in London or Rome in 1300. But, as our many fans tell us, it does remind older   Read on »

The MARIST Mindset List, Class of 2023

by Tom McBride

Looking for the latest Mindset List? You can find it on or after August 21, 2019 at our new Marist College Website (address below). We hope you like the new List. (Yes, half of the Beatles have always been dead.) To talk with the authors send an email to or call 608 312 9508. Thanks. Here’s the new Marist address:


by Tom McBride

JOURNEY: How to Nintendofy The Gen Z Classr   Tom McBride   Remarks For the Southern Regional Education Board (10/2018   Whenever older people teach younger people, as happens every day all over the world, there will be a communications gap. One part of this chasm occurs when the older party, the teacher, assumes knowledge that the younger party doesn’t have. It’s an old principle of learning that we gain new knowlede based on what we already know. So in the 1970s, if students knew about the Watergate scandal, teachers could use that knowledge to teach about Shakespeare’s Richard the Third. The analogies shed light on both Richard Nixon and Richard the Third alike.   But nowadays students do not   Read on »


by Tom McBride

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, AUGUST 21   Author contacts:                                                                           Ron Nief (608-770-2625)      Tom McBride (608-312-9508)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Charles Westerberg (608-225-8100)          The New Millennium Belongs to This Year’s Entering College Class of 2022 in The 21st Annual Mindset List Human beings have always been living — not just traveling — in space. The United States has always been in Afghanistan. Same-sex marriage has always been legal somewhere and the once revolutionary “You’ve got mail” is almost forgotten. A lot can change in just 18 years, but these same 18 years also make up the mindset—or “event horizon”—of today’s entering college students. Born in 2000, the first year of the new millennium, these students are members of the College   Read on »


by Tom McBride

Farewell to the Dorm MINDSET LIST® Remarks Delivered to the Interface Student Housing Conference, Austin, Texas, April 6, 2018   The Mindset List® thanks Mr. Bruce Sanders of Elauwit for inviting us to speak today. Over half a century ago I began my college life in what was called a dormitory, at a university about ninety miles northwest of Austin. Though we did not appreciate it at the time, we were herded like the proverbial cattle into a four-story building with the same-sized rooms, sparsely furnished with standard issue university desks, tables, and beds. We ate the same food, prepared in advance for us, all in the same place. We had communal bathrooms—none of us even had our own stall,   Read on »


by Tom McBride

Beloit College Releases the Mindset List for This Year’s Entering Class of First-Year College Students, The Class of 2021 Beloit, Wis. —This year’s entering college class of 2021 can’t remember when a “phone” wasn’t a video game and research library. Mostly born in 1999, they’ve always been searching for Pokemon. They’ve never read a Peanuts strip that wasn’t a repeat and they never had the privilege of a Montgomery Ward catalogue as a booster seat. They have persevered in a world without Joe Dimaggio and brightened by emojis. If you ask them about the whine of a dial-up modem, expect a blank stare.   These are among the items in this year’s Beloit College Mindset List, the 20th such release since   Read on »


by Tom McBride

THE MINDSET LIST® OF GENERATION X  Tom McBride Most Gen Xers are now between 37 and 53. Partly because they have been deemed, by demographers, to have had only a sixteen-year run, their numbers are small. But they were also born during a time of low birth rates compared to those of the later 40s and the 1950s. The reasons are many: the Pill, divorce, more women working out of the home, and perhaps access to abortion. One commentator has called Gen Xers America’s neglected middle child.  Thanks to the death rate, Millennials have now taken over Boomers as the largest generational cohort. There are about 75 million Millennials and more than ten million fewer Gen Xers. But by 2028   Read on »


by Tom McBride

THE ECONOMIC VIRTUES OF MILLENNIALS  Tom McBride (Delivered on September 15 at the De Meo/Schneider Investment Conference in Chicago) Deidre McCloskey is a renowned economic historian at the University of Illinois right here in Chicago. One of her more striking ideas is that the virtues of different social groups are strongly determined by their economic status. For instance, the peasant class, having no prospects for financial gain, glommed onto the virtue of humility, linked to the idea that God would reward them for their humility someday in Heaven. For the aristocratic class, whose financial prosperity was assured, courage became a dominant virtue. They who have everything only lack the military adventure of becoming warriors, on battlefields where their bravery will   Read on »

Now on Amazon: THE MILLENNIAL PROMISE–40 Tips from The Mindset List®

by Tom McBride

Click on the image to your left for the Amazon link to our latest book: THE MILLENNIAL PROMISE: 40 Tips from The Mindset List®. It’s a terrific guide to all phases of Millennial education–from classroom motivation to high tech instruction to the art of giving assignments.   Think of it as The Elements of Style for Millennial education! It’s a concise little manual for teachers, counselors, administrators–useful for anyone involved in the education and training of America’s most talked-about generation.


by Tom McBride

THE MINDSET LIST® SPEAKS! Looking for Great and Time-Tested Public Speakers?  Tom McBride and Ron Nief, co-authors of The Beloit College Mindset List® and The Mindset Lists of American History (Wiley, 2011) and The Mindset List of the Obscure (Sourcebooks, 2014) speak frequently about the generation gap around the country and to a wide variety of organizations.  We’ve spoken, led workshops  and delivered the keynote addresses to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national convention, to library associations, museum staff, and to educators at all levels, to state retirement fund administrators and to to educators and specialists dealing with youth and financial literacy,   And all this is but a small sample. We work with our   Read on »


by Tom McBride

WeRHistory   A Guide to THE MINDSET LISTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY  INTRODUCTION WeRHistory is a guide to discussion of the past and do-it-yourself history. As co-authors, we want our readers to explore the underlying message of THE MINDSET LISTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY: From Typewriters to Text Messages, What 10 Generations of Americans Think is Normal. As the first chapter says, “History Has Always Been Us.” Each of us does our bit for history every day. We make personal decisions that alter our individual history and collective decisions that make history. We are all part of the historical parade from birth to grave. We are all historical personages and actors in a historical drama. We not only are history; we can   Read on »


by Tom McBride

CAN GOOD HABITS REVERSE CLIMATE CHANGE?  Tom McBride From the forthcoming book THE SURVEILLANCE OF ICEBERGS: GREAT PHILOSOPHERS AND CIMATE CHANGE Aristotle can be put in the thick of the climate crisis. He was born fifteen years after the death of his teacher’s idol, Socrates, He lived during a time when nature had more predatory chances than even tofay. There were no cures for plagues and no mass relief for famines. Aristotle theorized that while the good life might be the advanced courses one could not possibly live it without the pre-reqs, and these included food, water, clothing, shelter, and sleep.  He was never so foolish as to believe that one could live a life of happiness and excellence if   Read on »

The Mindset List has delighted millions….

for two decades about what has “always” or “never” been true for entering college students. It was created at Beloit College in 1998 to reflect the world view of entering first year students, and started with the members of the class of 2002, born in 1980.
What started as a witty way of saying to faculty colleagues “watch your references,” has turned intoa globally reported and utilized guide to the intelligent if unprepared adolescent consciousness. It is requested by thousands of readers, reprinted in hundreds of print and electronic publications, and used for a wide variety of purposes. It immediately caught the imagination of the public, and in the ensuing years, has drawn responses from around the world. This site now gets close to a million hits a year. The site contains all of the lists and news about the list’s development. There are also opportunities to provide feedback and to get information on authors Ron Nief, Tom McBride, and Charles Westerberg, who may be contacted at,, and 
Mindset List authors Tom McBride, Charles Westerberg, and Ron Nief.

Mindset List authors Tom McBride, Charles Westerberg, and Ron Nief.

About the Authors

RON NIEF  is emeritus director of public affairs at Beloit College, stepping down in 2009 after 14 years. He has been communicating the work of higher education for more than four decades, starting with his alma mater, Boston College in the 1960s and including Brandeis and Clark universities…. Read more »
TOM MCBRIDE  is a professor of English and Keefer Professor of the Humanities at Beloit College. A graduate of Baylor University and the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, he teaches Milton, Shakespeare, and critical theory and has team-taught many interdisciplinary courses…. 
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CHARLES WESTERBERG  is the Brannon-Ballard Professor of Sociology at BELOIT College. He graduated from Beloit College in 1994 with majors in Sociology and Government. He went on to get his M.A. (1997) and Ph.D. (2001) in Sociology from the University of Missouri in Columbia. His scholarly work has been split between criminological themes, such as the changing nature of punishment, and new approaches to pedagogy in undergraduate education. He joined the Beloit College faculty in the spring of 2000.
“The Mindset List authors should be hailed America’s cultural timekeepers.” —Jim Simon, Seattle Times