Millennials: A Good Word

Susan Pigott
Susan Pigott

“Millennials tend to be very socially aware,
are prone to be more public about it,
and they are simply more thoughtful
and forward looking about, ‘Why am I here?
What am I going to leave behind?
How am I going to change the world?’”

Dr. Americus Reed, II
Wharton Business Radio interview

I was introduced to Dr. Americus Reed, II, Professor of Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, this morning easing along the ice rink of Abilene streets, dodging eighteen-wheel pickups with NFL linebacker welded-steel face guards and an undercarriage almost high enough to pass over my volcanic-orange Mini Cooper. Almost. You know I was listening to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. As part of NPR’s series the New Boom, about Millennials (80,000,000 eighteen-to-thirty-five year olds who reportedly spend over one trillion dollars a year), Sam Sanders talked with Dr. Reed about the values held by Millennials. Similar to his comments in the Wharton Business Radio interview, Dr. Reed listed three Millennial Generation values:

1. “They seek authenticity. They value self expression, but they also like to think of themselves as not necessarily self absorbed.”

2. “There isn’t a lot of negativity. The values that they are trying to align are social impact or doing good things. How do I leave the world a better place?”

3. “I wouldn’t say frugal, but being aware of their spending.”

Just as I opened my Abilene Hall office door, I received the text that Hardin-Simmons University classes had been canceled. Not wishing to risk any untoward reactions from Monster-Truck drivers who can read lips, I decided to delay skating back home, and instead, email my students, work a few hours in my office, and look up Dr. Reed’s comments on NPR’s website. Okay, my real motivation for remaining in the office was that if I returned home, I would have to spend another snow / ice day in the house with Lucy, the most hyper of hyper Australian shepherd dogs.

So I decided Hardin-Simmons needs to feel good about Millennials and about what a terrific job we are doing offering them a valued education, an education that speaks to this generation’s apparent values, what HSU examples in the classroom and throughout the forty acres: Authentic Self Expression; Social Awareness; Questioning What We Will Leave Behind; Changing The World For The BetterAn Education Enlightened By Faith.

Works Cited

Reed, Americas, II.—.