2015 Mindset List ~ Beloit College

2015 Mindset List

This year’s entering college class of 2015 was born just as the Internet took everyone onto the information highway and as Amazon began its relentless flow of books and everything else into their lives.  Members of this year’s freshman class, most of them born in 1993, are the first generation to grow up taking the word “online” for granted and for whom crossing the digital divide has redefined research, original sources and access to information, changing the central experiences and methods in their lives. They have come of age as women assumed command of U.S. Navy ships, altar girls served routinely at Catholic Mass, and when everything from parents analyzing childhood maladies to their breaking up with boyfriends and girlfriends, sometimes quite publicly, have been accomplished on the Internet.

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. The creation of Beloit’s former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief and Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation. Mindset List websites at Beloit College and at mindsetmoment.com, the media site webcast and their Facebook page receive more than a million hits annually.

Nief and McBride recently applied their popular format to 10 generations of Americans over 150 years in their new book, The Mindset Lists of American History: From Typewriters to Text Messages, What Ten Generations of Americans Think Is Normal (Wiley and Sons.).

As for the class of 2015, without any memory whatever of George Herbert Walker Bush as president, they came into existence as Bill Clinton came into the presidency. Their parents, frequently older than one might expect because women have always been able to get pregnant almost regardless of age, have hovered over them with extra care and have agreed with those states that mandated the wearing of bike helmets. Ferris Bueller could be their overly cautious dad, and Jimmy Carter is an elderly smiling public man who appears occasionally on television doing good works. “Dial-up,” Woolworths and the Sears “Big Book” are as antique to them as “talking machines” might have been to their grandparents. Meanwhile, as they’ve wondered why O.J. Simpson has always been suspected of something, they have all “been there, done that, gotten the Tshirt,” shortened boring conversations with “yadda, yadda, yadda,” and recognized LBJ as LeBron James.

For those who cannot comprehend that it has been 18 years since this year’s class was born, they will quickly confirm that the next four years will go even faster and, like the rest of us, they will continue to grow older at increasing speed.

The Mindset List for the Class of 2015

Andre the Giant, River Phoenix, Frank Zappa, Arthur Ashe and the Commodore 64 have always been dead.

Their classmates could include Taylor Momsen, Angus Jones, Howard Stern’s daughter Ashley, and the Dilley Sextuplets.

  1. There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.
  2. Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.
  3. States and Velcro parents have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets.
  4. The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.
  5. There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships.
  6. They “swipe” cards, not merchandise.
  7. As they’ve grown up on websites and cell phones, adult experts have constantly fretted about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration.
  8. Their school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.
  9. “Don’t touch that dial!”….what dial?
  10. American tax forms have always been available in Spanish.
  11. More Americans have always traveled to Latin America than to Europe.
  12. Amazon has never been just a river in South America.
  13. Refer to LBJ, and they might assume you’re talking about LeBron James.
  14. All their lives, Whitney Houston has always been declaring “I Will Always Love You.”
  15. O.J. Simpson has always been looking for the killers of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
  16. Women have never been too old to have children.
  17. Japan has always been importing rice.
  18. Jim Carrey has always been bigger than a pet detective.
  19. We have never asked, and they have never had to tell.
  20. Life has always been like a box of chocolates.
  21. They’ve always gone to school with Mohammed and Jesus.
  22. John Wayne Bobbitt has always slept with one eye open.
  23. There has never been an official Communist Party in Russia.
  24. “Yadda, yadda, yadda” has always come in handy to make long stories short.
  25. Video games have always had ratings.
  26. Chicken soup has always been soul food.
  27. The Rocky Horror Picture Show has always been available on TV.
  28. Jimmy Carter has always been a smiling elderly man who shows up on TV to promote fair elections and disaster relief.
  29. Arnold Palmer has always been a drink.
  30. Dial-up is soooooooooo last century!
  31. Women have always been kissing women on television.
  32. Their older siblings have told them about the days when Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera were Mouseketeers.
  33. Faux Christmas trees have always outsold real ones.
  34. They’ve always been able to dismiss boring old ideas with “been there, done that, gotten the T-shirt.”
  35. The bloody conflict between the government and a religious cult has always made Waco sound a little whacko.
  36. Unlike their older siblings, they spent bedtime on their backs until they learned to roll over.
  37. Music has always been available via free downloads.
  38. Grown-ups have always been arguing about health care policy.
  39. Moderate amounts of red wine and baby aspirin have always been thought good for the heart.
  40. Sears has never sold anything out of a Big Book that could also serve as a doorstop.
  41. The United States has always been shedding fur.
  42. Electric cars have always been humming in relative silence on the road.
  43. No longer known for just gambling and quickie divorces, Nevada has always been one of the fastest growing states in the Union.
  44. They’re the first generation to grow up hearing about the dangerous overuse of antibiotics.
  45. They pressured their parents to take them to Taco Bell or Burger King to get free pogs.
  46. Russian courts have always had juries.
  47. No state has ever failed to observe Martin Luther King Day.
  48. While they’ve been playing outside, their parents have always worried about nasty new bugs borne by birds and mosquitoes.
  49. Public schools have always made space available for advertising.
  50. Some of them have been inspired to actually cook by watching the Food Channel.
  51. Fidel Castro’s daughter and granddaughter have always lived in the United States.
  52. Their parents have always been able to create a will and other legal documents online.
  53. Charter schools have always been an alternative.
  54. They’ve grown up with George Stephanopoulos as the Dick Clark of political analysts.
  55. New kids have always been known as NKOTB.
  56. They’ve always wanted to be like Shaq or Kobe: Michael Who?
  57. They’ve often broken up with their significant others via texting, Facebook, or MySpace.
  58. Their parents sort of remember Woolworths as this store that used to be downtown.59.
  59. Kim Jong-il has always been bluffing, but the West has always had to take him seriously.
  60. Frasier, Sam, Woody and Rebecca have never Cheerfully frequented a bar in Boston during primetime.
  61. Major League Baseball has never had fewer than three divisions and never lacked a wild card entry in the playoffs.
  62. Nurses have always been in short supply.
  63. They won’t go near a retailer that lacks a website.
  64. Altar girls have never been a big deal.
  65. When they were 3, their parents may have battled other parents in toy stores to buy them a Tickle Me Elmo while they lasted.
  66. It seems the United States has always been looking for an acceptable means of capital execution.
  67. Folks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have always been able to energize with Pepsi Cola.
  68. Andy Warhol is a museum in Pittsburgh.
  69. They’ve grown up hearing about suspiciously vanishing frogs.
  70. They’ve always had the privilege of talking with a chatterbot.
  71. Refugees and prisoners have always been housed by the U.S. government at Guantanamo.
  72. Women have always been Venusians; men, Martians.
  73. McDonalds coffee has always been just a little too hot to handle.
  74. “PC” has come to mean Personal Computer, not Political Correctness.
  75. The New York Times and the Boston Globe have never been rival newspapers.

Copyright© 2011 Beloit College
Mindset List
is a registered trademark

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2011 Atlantic City “Thunder Over The Boardwalk” Airshow is a Go!

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

Full details will be presented as the ninth annual event draws closer, but it’s a definite that the immensely popular Atlantic City “Thunder Over The Boardwalk” air show will be returning to the “City That’s Always Turned On” on Wednesday, Aug. 17.

“I’m pleased to announce the Atlantic City Airshow is returning to the beach and Boardwalk in 2011,” said Joseph Kelly, president of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber (GACC), in a release. “This year the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Golden Knights have both agreed to headline the 2011 Airshow.”

Along with the Thunderbirds Golden Knights performances, past airshow demonstrations and fly-bys have included the United States Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps and Air National Guard, and many civilian acts. Last year’s performance by the Brazilian Smoke Squadron lifted the airshow to international status.
“The airshow has become the signature summer event for Atlantic City,” said Jeffrey Vasser, president of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA), in the release. “Last year’s show attracted an estimated 650,000 people. It will be hard to top, but 2011’s Airshow is sure to be just as successful.”

The “Thunder Over The Boardwalk” airshow is a community partnership between the GAAC, the ACCVA, the 177th Fighter Wing of the N.J. Air National Guard, the South Jersey Transportation Authority, the FAA William J. Hughes Tech Center, the Atlantic City International Airport, David Schultz Airshows and the city of Atlantic City.

The Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) is the host airport for the show, and the majority of performers take off and land via ACY. Bally’s Atlantic City will again serve as host hotel sponsor. Many other sponsorship packages are available for the 2011 Atlantic City Airshow, and those interested in becoming a sponsor should contact GACC director of member events Elisa Monroe at (609) 345-4524, ext. 12.

Ten things N.J. does better !

Never far away from culture

Yes, New Jersey sometimes plays second fiddle to New York City and Philadelphia. That’s the bad news. The good news is that New Jersey is able to draw on the rich cultural scenes of the nation’s largest and fifth-largest cities.

Wonderful theater, wonderful museums, wonderful history. The Metropolitan Museum, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, Franklin Institute, Museum of Modern Art, Barnes Foundation, Independence Hall, Kimmel Center, National Constitution Center, Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty.

People come from all over the world to sample what we have at our doorstep every day.

Some of the nicest suburbs in the nation.

Looking for charming, leafy neighborhoods, where you can take a bike into town or hop on a train to get to work, New Jersey has plenty of them: Rumson, Summit, Madison, Berkeley Heights, Westfield, Ridgefield, Rutherford, Bedminster, Chatham, Blairstown, Moorestown, Toms River, Cape May, Mountain Lakes, West Orange, Millburn, Princeton, Hopewell, Lambertville, Colts Neck, Barnegat Light, Cranford.

High standard of living

Yes, New Jersey has a high cost of living, but it also has a high standard of living, thanks to its proximity to high-paying jobs here and in the New York and Philadelphia job markets. According to the 2010 Census, it had the second-highest median income, $64,918 — just pocket change behind No. 1 New Hampshire.

It has the third highest percentage of millionaires, behind Hawaii and Maryland, and by the close of the decade, New Jersey is anticipated to have the highest density of millionaires, at 24.6 percent, according to a Deloitte Center for Financial Services study. (The estimates of household wealth are based both on financial assets such as stocks and bonds, and nonfinancial assets like primary residences and business ownership.)

New Jersey residents also have the highest average amount in savings accounts — $7,477 — according to a May survey by Pitney Bowes Business Solutions.


Thomas Edison, the most prolific inventor in history, is a fitting symbol for the genius and creativity that have made New Jersey one of the nation’s, and world’s major incubators of progress.

Edison, who was awarded 1,368 patents during his lifetime, gave us the phonograph, motion pictures, a commercially viable incandescent light bulb and hundreds of other lesser-known inventions, including the stock ticker and the electrical vote recorder.

Edison died in 1931, but his legacy has continued throughout the years in the research labs of universities and corporations. Since 1977, when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office began tracking state-by-state data, residents and companies based in New Jersey have acquired more than 115,000 patents, more than all but three states — California, Texas and New York.

Among the state’s creative output: TV dinners, transistors, Band-Aids, bubble wrap, tetracycline, air conditioning, LCDs (liquid crystal displays), condensed, Teflon, condensed soup, anti-theft tags, bar codes, chlorination devices, drive-in movies, anti-bacterial cream, flight simulators and Valium.

Strong public schools

You can talk all you want about how the U.S. trails other nations in science and math, but the best schools are the equal to any, and the best public schools are here in New Jersey, despite the deficiencies cited on a regular basis by the Christie administration.

No question, the poor performance in many New Jersey schools are nothing short of a disgrace, and something that needs to be addressed. But the good things taking place in many, if not most, of our public schools should not be easily dismissed.

Don’t believe the NJEA’s ads touting how wonderful New Jersey schools are? Believe this: New Jersey had the highest SAT scores in the country last year. Education Week magazine’s annual “Quality Counts 2011” survey, which ranks the states on key education indicators, including achievement results, school finance, and other factors critical to student success, had New Jersey leading the pack nationally.

Mild climate

Sure, New Jersey gets some intensely hot, humid days during the summer, and some major snowstorms from time to time. But compared to most other parts of the country, the climate is generally moderate and not given to extremes.

New Jersey has less frigid weather than the northern states, and less heat and humidity than the south. It has fewer tornadoes than the Midwest and Far West, and fewer hurricanes than the Gulf Coast.

Most of the year, each of the four seasons — something many parts of the U.S. lack — offer their own pleasures; during the periods that are less pleasant, you can rest assured that the won’t last.

Sandy beaches and mountains within an hour’s drive.

We aren’t the only state with white, sandy beaches and nice mountains, but there aren’t too many that have access to both.

For long-time residents, it may be easy to take the state’s 130-mile coastline, which stretches from Sandy Hook to Cape May, for granted. But there are millions of Americans who are a plane ride or uncomfortably long car ride from the sun and the surf. And the mountains.

New Jersey has the Kittatinny, Watchung, Ramapo, Highlands, Sourlands ranges. More than 70 miles of the Appalachian Trail cuts through the northwest corner of the state. If that isn’t enough, the Poconos in Pennsylvania and the Catskills and Adirondacks are within easy driving distance.

For those who enjoy the beach culture, New Jersey has the boardwalk named the tops in the nation, Atlantic City, by National Geographic. The Wildwoods boardwalk, called “one of the kitschiest” in the country,” ranked ninth.

Gateway to the world

Have you ever taken a flight from Newark Liberty International or JFK to Europe, the Caribbean or some other distant port of call and heard the stories from fellow travelers who embarked from some point in the nation’s heartland and felt like they already had traveled halfway across the world?

One or more connections, often with delays and lost baggage, and lots of aggravation before getting on a plane to their final destination.

Yes, Newark Liberty and JFK leave a lot to be desired. But at least once on the plane, it’s generally smoothe sailing.

Many of us may take it for granted how fortunate we are to live within easy reach of airport that can take us nonstop to nearly every part of the world?

Concert capital of nation.

New Jersey, with its wide range of concert venues, is a magnet, year afteer year, for virtually every touring musician and musical group, of every musical genre.

Those who, for whatever reason, skip the amphitheaters, concert halls, theaters and clubs of New Jersey, doubtless stop off in New York or Philadelphia. Few states, if any, make those kinds of music offerings available within a one hour’s drive.

Many need not travel far from home. Among New Jersey natives or residents: Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Queen Latifah, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Connie Francis, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughn, Marilynn McCoo, Whitney Houston, Eddie Money, Kool and the Gang, George Clinton, Lauryn Hill, Count Basie, Ice-T, Nick Adams, Ricky Nelson, Dizzy Gillespie, Leslie Gore, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra, the Smithereens, My Chemical Romance, Wayne Shorter, Woody Shaw, Skid Row, Sebastian Bach, Symphony X.

Access to pro teams worth cheering for.

Sure Boston is on a roll, with the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics all playing well. But New Jersey sports fans not only have three pro hockey teams, two pro baseball teams, two pro football teams, three pro basketball teams (counting the women’s Liberty) and a pro soccer team to choose from in New York, but a bunch more from Philly.

And if you can’t get enough of baseball, there are seven minor league teams to choose from, where you can see many players play on their way up to the big leagues, or briefly, on the way down for rehab games.

First and best

New Jersey has often done it first. And it frequently does it best.

Some of the firsts:

The Passaic River was the site of the first submarine ride by inventor John P. Holland.

In 1642, the first brewery in America, opened in Hoboken.

In 1935, the G. Krueger Brewing Company of Newark, New Jersey became the first brewer to market beer in steel cans. In that year, only about 25 percent of beer was packaged in bottles and cans — the rest was kegged. Today, however, about 90 percent of America’s beer production is consumed from bottles and cans.

Les Paul invented the first solid body electric guitar in Mahwah, in 1940.

The light bulb, phonograph and motion picture projector, were invented by Thomas Edison in his Menlo Park, NJ , laboratory.

We also boast the first town ever lit by incandescent bulbs.

The first seaplane was built in Keyport. The Aeromarine 40F was a two-seat flying-boat training aircraft produced for the US Navy and built by the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company of Keyport, New Jersey. Fifty out of an original order for 200 were delivered before the end of World War I, with the remainder cancelled due to the armistice.

The aircraft was a biplane with a pusher propeller. The pilot and instructor sat side-by-side.


The first airmail (to Chicago ) was started from Keyport.

The first phonograph records were made in Camden at the Victor Talking Machine Company.

Atlantic City has the longest boardwalk in the world.

New Jersey has the largest petroleum containment area outside of the Middle East countries.

The first Indian reservation was in New Jersey, in the Watchung Mountains .

New Jersey has the tallest water-tower in the world. ( Union , NJ !!!)

New Jersey had the first medical center, in Jersey City

The Pulaski SkyWay, from Jersey City to Newark, was the first skyway highway.

NJ built the first tunnel (Holland Tunnel) under a river, the Hudson .

The first baseball game was played in Hoboken.

The first intercollegiate football game was played in New Brunswick in 1889 ( Rutgers College played Princeton ).

The first drive-in movie theater was opened in Camden.

The first radio station and broadcast was in Paterson , NJ .

The first FM radio broadcast was made from Alpine, NJ, by Maj. Thomas Armstrong.

The Great Falls in Paterson , on the Passaic River , is the 2nd highest waterfall on the East Coast of the US .

New Jersey is the world leader in blueberry and cranberry production (and here you thought Massachusetts ?)

Highlands, New Jersey has the highest elevation along the entire eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida .

New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the “Diner Capital of the World.”

New Jersey is home to the original Mystery Pork Parts Club (no, not Spam): Taylor Ham or Pork Roll.

Home to the less mysterious but the best Italian hot dogs and Italian sausage w/peppers and onions.

North Jersey has the most shopping malls in one area in the world, with seven major shopping malls in a 25 square mile radius.

New Jersey is home to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island .

New Jersey is the largest chemical producing state in the nation when you include pharmaceuticals.

New Jersey has the third largest seaport at Port Newark-Elizabeth.

George Washington slept here. Several important Revolutionary War battles were fought on New Jersey soil, led by General George Washington.

What is on the 13th Floor?