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Former Shepherd educator dies at her home

November 06, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - The woman who was responsible for developing Shepherd University's physical education program died Thursday at her Shepherdstown home.

Sara H. Cree, 97, a former Shepherd University professor, lived a few blocks from campus, where she was remembered as an educator who cared deeply for the academic and personal welfare of her students.

"She was very good with her students and she was very active on campus," said Barbara Maxwell, interim dean of libraries.

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Maxwell, a 1966 Shepherd graduate, was a student when Cree served as faculty adviser to Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, she said.

"She was a very gracious lady," Maxwell said.

Cree joined the university in 1940 as chairwoman of the division of health and physical education. She was responsible for developing the physical education program and promoting the women's recreation association, according to the university's Web site. She retired from Shepherd in 1972.

The university's health and physical education building was renamed Cree Hall in 1975, university spokeswoman Valerie Owens said.

Today, Cree Hall houses the campus' swimming pool, a community wellness center, campus police, a theater and other offices. The physical education department now is in the Butcher Center, Owens said.

Following Cree's retirement, a scholarship fund was established with the Shepherd College Foundation in her name.

David L. Dunlop, president of Shepherd University, said he remembers a mentally sharp Cree when the two spoke several years ago about the future of Cree Hall.

"I remember her saying, 'President Dunlop, I only want you to do one thing with that building, and that's whatever is best for the students. If that means tearing it down, that's fine with me. If it means building a new one, that's fine with me,'" Dunlop said.

A memorial service for Cree will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Shepherdstown.

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