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Celebrating 75 Years of Empowering Older Adults

As we proudly mark the 75th anniversary of the Durham Center for Senior Life, we reflect on a remarkable journey that is not just a testament to our longevity, but a celebration of the profound impact we have on the lives of older adults.
Since its inception in 1949, the Durham Center for Senior Life has been a place of empowerment for older adults. 
As we continue forward, we are honored to maintain our legacy of enriching the lives of older adults by promoting healthy, active, and independent lifestyles.


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Join us for our 75th Anniversary Gala!

Saturday, April 27th, 2024

As we proudly mark the 75th anniversary of the Durham Center for Senior Life, we invite you for a night of dinner and dancing at our annual gala.
The Durham Center for Senior Life is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and we serve over 200 older adults each day at no cost to them. Our programs provide access to critical resources and services, and we are an integral part of the Durham community.
Join us as we celebrate our 75-year history legacy. This remarkable milestone is a testament to our longevity and a celebration of the profound impact we have on the lives of older adults.
The evening will include dinner, live music, dancing, a cash bar, silent auction, and a 50/50 cash raffle. Please wear semi-formal attire.

Our Story

In 1949, the Golden Age Society was formed by five community members to provide social clubs for older adults, marking the beginning of the Durham Center for Senior Life’s history. 
As the agency evolved into a community stronghold of older adults, it transitioned to the Council for Senior Citizens in 1968 and received its first grant. In 2010, the organization was officially renamed the Durham Center for Senior Life. 
Through eras marked by change, the heart of the organization’s mission has remained constant, providing enrichment, resources, and vital services to the Durham community.
Today, the Durham Center for Senior Life is an integral part of the Durham community and is designated by the State of North Carolina as a Center of Excellence. With two centers in Durham County, DCSL serves over 200 older adults each day through our wide array of programs and services.
DCSL is a lifeline to the communities we serve, and we are proud to continue our 75-year legacy of enriching the lives of older adults. As we move forward, we draw strength from our rich and powerful history, acknowledging the foundation laid by our founders and the vibrant communities of older adults who came before us. 

Our Founders

2011_LegacyBreakfast_Dr. John Lucas

Dr. John Lucas

A foot soldier with a commitment to social change for all older adults. His work greatly impacted the support of public funding for the Center’s programming and construction.
Becky Heron

Becky Heron

A public servant dedicated to the senior residents of Durham County. Her role was significant in acquiring the funds needed for the initial programs of the Center’s first year of operation.
Jack Preiss

Jack Preiss

A shepherd in the idea of building a center to serve all seniors. He nurtured the project to build this building from its inception to the completion of construction in 2006.

Patricia Robertson

A representative on the care of seniors appointed by the Forest at Duke. She Co-Chaired the committee charged with gaining support for the referendum for public support in the late 90’s.

Howard Clement III

An elder in the revitalization of Downtown Durham. He was instrumental in the decision by the city to donate the land for the Center to begin construction in 2003.

Our Future

DCSL’s future is paved with possibilities, and we envision ongoing expansion and diversification of services. We are optimistic and excited about the potential for continued growth and evolution, and our commitment to adapting and innovating remains unwavering.

Voices of our Past

“It can be a source of civic pride that before Durham reached its centennial, it realized that the happiness of its oldest citizens is a community concern.” -The Herald Sun, April 26, 1953

The Golden Age Society’s purpose, according to its constitution, is to promote the welfare and happiness of Durham’s senior citizens through a program of educational and recreational activities…” 

“Since its inception in 1949, the Durham Golden Age Society has sponsored a number of activities aimed at helping the community’s senior citizens” -The Herald Sun, May 10, 1965, Page 3

“These senior citizens…are the segment of our population who have built our cities, fought our wars, paid our taxes, and brought our country to the high standard of living that the present generation now enjoys.”

“The Golden Age Society attempts to fill the gap which is often found in the life of an elderly person — a sense of belonging and being wanted.”

Singing songs and stringing beads are but two of the varied activities engaged in by the members of the Durham Golden Age Society, but they’re indicative of the work and play. -The Herald Sun, July 31, 1955, Page 7

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