The Crees

Tar Heel fans with a plan

The CreesTar Heel fever is contagious - just ask Gilda Cree. When Philip, her husband of 42 years, introduced her to UNC-Chapel Hill at his 25th class reunion in 1977, she fell head over Heels for Carolina. After living in Florida for years, the couple decided to relocate to Fearrington Village, just south of Chapel Hill. From being members of the Fearrington Village Carolina Club to members of the University Library to seeing shows at PlayMakers, they enjoy the best of what UNC-Chapel Hill and the surrounding community has to offer.

Their love for everything Carolina blue inspired the Crees to give by including a bequest for UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in their estate plan. They chose UNC Lineberger because of the center’s impressive work and their personal experience with center faculty and staff.

“I see my dermatologist every six months to monitor my skin. During one visit he mentioned a freckle that was under my eye. He didn’t think it was a problem, but wanted to check it out anyway,” said Philip. “Forty-eight hours later, I received a call from my doctor who told me to go to UNC.” After being seen at UNC, Philip had surgery to remove the malignancy.

“I was very impressed by my surgeon, Dr. Michael Meyers,” explained Philip. During his visit, they had discussed the new cancer hospital being built and the impact it would have on the cancer program. “I remember him saying that completion of the hospital would make UNC Lineberger world class.”

Philip believes that “there is absolutely nothing worse than a wasted opportunity.” For the Crees maximizing their opportunities and being generous go hand in hand. From Gilda volunteering at the hospital, to Gilda and Philip donating their bodies to science, to leaving bequests to multiple UNC departments in their estate plan, they’re ensuring no wasted opportunities, but opportunities created for many.