Senior center renamed to honor longtime community activist

Mar 14, 2022

The Council on Aging’s senior center has a new name: The Connor Center for Active Living.

The Select Board unanimously voted to change the name at its March 14 meeting — the first in-person session since March 9, 2020.

The new name honors Maria Connor, who is the current president of the Dartmouth Friends of the Elderly. She is also responsible for helping raise hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to help fund programs at the center, along with other services and nonprofits across town.

“Her steadfast dedication to senior issues, housing, veterans concerns, etcetera is second to none,” said Council on Aging Director Amy DiPietro. “Her devotion to social services and the community made this an easy decision.

While most name dedications are done posthumously, DiPietro said it was important to make the change now while people “are here to enjoy the recognition.”

“This will honor her legacy and recognize the important role she’s played in our senior community,” she said.

Another reason for the name change, DiPietro said, is to reflect how the Bliss Corner center is not just limited to activities for seniors.

“We have a youthful, energetic center — our programs are jam-packed with high-energy activities,” DiPietro said. “The motto ‘not your mother’s senior center’ has been used many times and truly fits our model.”

Members of the Select Board said the idea to honor Connor with the name change was a  “no-brainer.”

“Every single one of us up here knows the impact Maria Connor has had on the Council on Aging and the Friends of the Elderly,” Board Chair Shawn McDonald said.