Faculty Distinguished Lecture Focuses on Millennials
Many of the more than 400 attendees of the 2008-09 Faculty Distinguished Lecture on November 17, 2008, could recognize themselves in the topic, “How the Millennials Are Changing Our World.”
Deborah Tippett, professor and head of the human environmental sciences department, presented this year’s lecture. Her focus was the Millennials – those born between 1982 and 2002 – which includes the current generation of college students.
The lecture was preceded by two music videos, “The World Should Revolve Around Me” by Little Jackie, and “What About Now” by Chris Daughtry, which Tippett said illustrated the two extremes of the Millennial generation. Researchers have said Millennials are both narcissistic and also more aware of the world and interested in volunteering than previous generations.
Tippett reviewed generation theory, which she said offered “a broad brush stroke that doesn’t apply to individuals.”
In the lecture, Tippett showed a video she produced of Meredith students talking about their generation’s positive and negative characteristics.
Tippett also shared research about the Millennials. On the negative side, Millennials can be impatient, and “are the most scheduled and protected generation in history.”
While they are very tech-savvy, the “lack of face to face contact may stunt their interpersonal skills.”
This generation has many positive characteristics. Multi-tasking is a way of life for these students. Millennials are likely to be more optimistic and caring than previous generations; more tolerant of diversity, more concerned about justice and societal problems.
Tippett said the Millennials are “the first global citizens” because they are more aware of the world and are also more likely to volunteer.
“In my travels, I’m seeing young people around the world who want to make a difference,” Tippett said.
Among her examples were Meredith students who worked to convince the College to hire its first sustainability coordinator and inspired Meredith’s first Habitat for Humanity house.
“[These] are the Millennials for us to be proud of …,” Tippett said. “I admire the Millennials and believe that you will make the change we need in this world.”
Date Submitted: 2008-11-18