All that for 11 cents!
by Peggy Myers
When Gilda Cree was growing up in Queens, New York, she could see two full-length movies, the newsreel, a cartoon and coming attractions "All that for 11 cents! It was wonderful," she says now. It turns out her future husband, and partner in appreciation of film and theatre, was doing the same thing in Florida. Philip Cree grew up in Florida and came to Chapel Hill as a freshman. Although he returned to Florida after earning his business degree and spent 42 years in the aviation insurance industry, he never got Chapel Hill out of his mind.
"Chapel Hill graduates tend to be pretty chauvinistic about their alma mater," Cree said. "Gilda kept asking, 'What IS it with you people?'" Then Gilda joined Philip for his 45th UNC class reunion trip. That's when she became one of "those people." During that trip the couple decided to move from Florida to the Chapel Hill area.
The Crees have decided to support two areas of the University that they love through gifts in their estate planning. Through a bequest they will endow permanent funds to benefit the University Library and PlayMakers Repertory Company. The Philip R. and Gilda J. Cree Library Fund will support the purchase of materials for the Media Resources Center in the Undergraduate Library. "We're movie freaks" says Gilda. They have a personal library of more than 120 movie titles. Touring the newly renovated Undergrad with a group of alumni, they were thrilled to discover the collection of movies, performances, audio recordings and music in the Media Resources collection.
The Crees believe in the Library as a crucial center for learning materials on the University campus. They've been influenced by their friends Farrel and Welshie Potts, whose gifts also support purchases of Library materials. Through their endowed fund Philip and Gilda Cree are ensuring that future Carolina students will continue to have access to media that enrich their classroom, research and recreation experiences at Carolina.
Thanks to Jenny Spiker and PlayMakers for their assistance with this article.