What’s in a name? Plenty, for the rechristened Greater Morristown YMCA


Returning to its roots, the Morris Center YMCA of Cedar Knolls is becoming the Greater Morristown YMCA.

The rechristening, announced last weekend at the Hyatt Morristown, reflects a Morristown history that dates to 1874 in a rented second-floor space on Park Place. In 1909 the Y moved to Washington Street and Western Avenue, where it remained until 1981, when it left town.

The name change follows a rebranding by the national organization last year.

YMCA LOGO“Along with the Y-USA’s new brand strategy, our name change, The Greater Morristown YMCA, represents a return to our roots and a commitment to building greater awareness for the important work we do and will enable us to expand our efforts and further strengthen local communities,” said Carol Armour, president and CEO of the Morris Center YMCA, in a statement.

The full statement is below.

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A New Name Reflects a 137 Year History for local Y

Morris Center YMCA announces name change at celebration event

Cedar Knolls, NJ (April 1, 2011) – The Morris Center YMCA announced its plan to change its name at a celebration event held Saturday, March 26, 2011 at the Hyatt Morristown.  The new name, The Greater Morristown YMCA, was unveiled in front of 135 guests, including Morris Township Mayor H. Scott Rosenbush.

The decision to change the Y’s name follows a national rebranding program by YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) who unveiled a new Y brand to the world on July 12, 2010. This was an unprecedented step for Y-USA with the goal of better positioning the Y as a leading charitable organization and increasing the understanding of the impact the nonprofit makes in communities.

This national initiative presented the Morris Center YMCA with an opportunity to reposition and reestablish itself within the local community. The renaming of the Morris Center YMCA creates an opportunity for it to be recognized as a nonprofit organization founded in Morristown in 1874 and continuing to serve the greater Morristown community through Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.

The original Morristown YMCA was established in 1874 and was located in a rented second floor walkup of the Woods Estate on Park Place in the center of Morristown.  The Morris Center YMCA name was adopted in 1981 when the Y moved its facilities from the corner lot at 60 Washington Street and Western Avenue where it had been since 1909 to its current location at 79 Horsehill Road in Cedar Knolls.

“For 137 years, we’ve focused on changing lives for the better” said Carol Armour, President/CEO, Morris Center YMCA.  “Along with the Y-USA’s new brand strategy, our name change, The Greater Morristown YMCA, represents a return to our roots and a commitment to building greater awareness for the important work we do and will enable us to expand our efforts and further strengthen local communities.”

To learn more about the Y, please contact membership at 973.267.0704 or questions@morriscenterymca.org, or visit www.morriscenterymca.org for more information.  All community members are welcome to visit us at anytime for a free tour of our facilities.

About the Morris Center YMCA

The Morris Center YMCA is dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities.  The Y serves local families through youth development programs including child care, summer camp, before and after-school care, school vacation care, summer camp, swim and other recreation programs; through the Y’s state-of-the art fitness facilities and healthy living programs; and through the Annual Strong Kids Campaign, providing scholarships for underserved community members.  www.morriscenterymca.org

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net

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  1. It’s interesting that you mentioned the bowling alley–someone recently asked me if Morristown ever had one. Didn’t one of the firehouses or the Columbia Club also have lanes?

  2. I had almost forgotten the Y except as a fond memory of the time when it was part of the heart of Morristown. As you walked by the windows on Western Ave., you could watch the adults playing bridge through the basement windows.
    That was where my children learned to swim and attended summer day camp. My husband and his friends set pins in their bowling alley for the men’s teams. They swam and played basketball there after school when they was growing up in Morristown.
    We had a handicapped neighbor worked at the night desk to register the guests for the affordable rooms available for rent upstairs at the Y.
    For many kids at the High School and Alexander Hamilton School, the Y was an easy first stop after school.
    Then it moved to Cedar Knolls and they became out of sight and out of walking distance for most locals but I guess the easy parking made it more convenient for more affluent commuters.. The office building that took over their old building just doesn’t make me feel good every time I pass it the way the old Y always did.