1981–1995: Generation Y

Generation Y has been the face of magazine covers, a topic in more than 2,000 New York Times articles and the focus of countless discussions. Generation Y is the crux of a new era. Also called millennials, this generation was born in a time of war, a time of digital discovery. 

Terrorists struck the Twin Towers and millennials lost the sensation of safety in schools. They have significantly more degrees than previous generations, but entered a troubled workforce upon graduation. Millennials are digital natives, but still grew up riding bikes through the neighborhood before dinner. White picket fences are not #throwbackthursday; they are fixtures of a mysterious age.

Millennials cherish vintage items and design—they shake the dust off vinyl records and revive music from the past. Forgotten buildings are restored to their former glory—but this time wired for Wi-Fi.

This should be no surprise—Generation Y grew up while society transformed to a digital frontier. They place value in the past, but yearn for something new.

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Like the generation before them, millennials are changing the face of higher education. Achieving a college degree straight after high school is the norm, and, in the classrooms, one question is repeatedly asked: “Why?”

Classrooms have become launch pads in the pursuit of learning. Professors supplement classes with discussions and projects while encouraging students in their quest for knowledge. Courses have become a lab for learning.

At MBU, the lab-for-learning approach included the addition of a new sports and recreation center complete with state-of-the-art human performance labs, community-building housing, one of the largest campus coffee houses in the state of Missouri, the renovation of older buildings for technology and the iconic Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center. The building represented the new age of Fine Arts, including an auditorium seating 960 people, a broadcast studio, technology-equipped instructional spaces and a computer lab preparing music and communications students for their changing industries.

Students continue to pass through the halls of the iconic building, including recent public relations graduate, Molly Carver.

Carver stands tall among her peers with an ambition to match. Upon graduating MBU in December 2014, Carver was offered a position at Junior Chamber International—a nonprofit empowering Generation Z to create positive change—as a public relations professional. At her work, she chats with colleagues across the world, works with the United Nations and travels the globe. Carver’s world is driven by technology. She’s answering emails, surveying and storytelling the world via social media, researching on the Internet and chatting through instant messaging.

Molly Carver

First computing device:
Macintosh Performa

Advice to younger generations:
Cultivate relationships and network. Learn from the wealth of wisdom and experience of people around you.

This is a world Carver has known since its creation. As she progressed through school, teachers began experimenting with technology in the classroom. While technology may be intertwined with Carver’s life, she values the skills and relationships standards prior to the technology takeover.

“We can blame or hide behind technology, but the ability to network and build a strong community is essential to life,” said Carver. “Technology does not lessen our ability to build relationships. Our decisions and intentions make the difference.”

Even in the emerging digital age, relationships are the pivotal point of faith as seen across MBU’s campus. Millennials may supplement their physical Bibles with apps, encourage brothers and sisters through social media and access unlimited sermons on podcast, but building relationships continues to be king. In fact, community is the most effective tool among millennials. According to the results of Barna Group—the leading research organization in faith and culture—when millennial non-Christians increase their Bible reading, they often did so after seeing the Gospel change a person’s life.

At MBU, Carver felt empowered by the focus of relationships and preparing students for a digitally driven world.

“MBU incorporates the best of the old and new thoughts of education,” said Carver. “I built treasured relationships with my professors—my mentors—while studying tools empowering me for a world of innovation.”

MBU graduates are strong in the Christian faith and prepared to lead in the ever-changing world.