November 16th, 2013 was a day of celebration and remembrance for the 35 wonderful years that the Marist Poll has been flourishing as one of the leading polling institutions. MIPO or the Marist Poll of Public Opinion was first founded in 1978. At first, the poll began as a project for a course that Lee Miringoff taught. The class organized a poll on the race for Dutchess County Executive. The group of 100 students recorded the results with pieces of paper, index cards, and manually wrote down all of  the results.

Today, the high-tech Hancock Center provides MIPO with the state of the art technology phone room, allowing them to conduct surveys and  send out results that same night. MIPO has grown to be extremely well known and even more renowned after its partnerships with NBC News in 1989 and The Wall Street Journal in 2011.

The 35th Anniversary of MIPO was filled with fun events for alumni and their family members to come back to the Marist Poll and see all of the incredible changes that have been made. Many alumni were truly in awe at the beautiful Hancock Center that is now the home of the Marist Poll. The phone room can seat up to 46 pollers and a few more can be set up in the state-of-the-art conference room.

“It [the event] was a nice tribute to what the Marist Poll has been for the past 35 years and it really summed up my experience working there,” explained Julie Moller a recent 2013 graduate, who worked at the Marist Poll from 2010 to 2013.

Tours of the new phone room and conference room were given from 3 p.m. to 5  p.m. These alumnus pollers  learned all about the way MIPO functions today and got to use the high definition touch-screen television in the conference room. MIPO is now able to broadcast live from their home in the Hancock Center. Delicious snacks, refreshments, and adorable Marist Poll popcorn bags were offered too!

“I liked seeing all of the old-timers getting excited when they saw the new building. I like that were like a big family here at the Marist Poll,” said Nicolette Strano, a junior Marist who currently works for MIPO.

“It’s such a great event and lovely  to see everyone again and especially the Marist Poll team.  I am very jealous that the Hancock Center wasn’t there when I was interviewing. I think its great and looks fabulous!” said Marissa Ryan, a 2011 political science graduate. She started off as an interviewer for the Marist Poll in 2008 and worked her way up to the position of a research assistant. She also took several classes with Lee Miringoff.

After the open house, these special guests were escorted to the reception that was held in one of the newly renovated rooms in the Student Center. President Dennis Murray thanked directors Lee Miringoff and Barbara Carvalho for all their years of hard work to put Marist Poll on the map. The traditional Marist Poll pizza was served along with an Italian styled buffet. There were raffle prizes given out during the reception and everyone received a Marist Poll goodie bag! Chuck Todd even made a guest appearance thanking the Marist Poll for their great work with NBC News and  always getting it right!

“Barbara and Lee are so endearing. I love them so much. I really enjoyed seeing all the old pictures of what the Marist Poll used to be like. It was so interesting listening to all of the alumnis’ stories about the way the Poll used to work,” explained Alyssa Barricelli, a senior Marist head coach.

Afterwards, all of the guests had the opportunity to see the Capitol Steps performance. Capitol Steps is a musical and satire comedy group of Washington-based once Congressional staff members. The show was thoroughly enjoyed by all that attended.  The event was filled with laughter and old memories from start to finish. Here’s to many more years of success to come, for the Marist Poll!

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