About the Building

Exterior view of FedEx Global Education Center looking at courtyard

A Hub for Global Education

The FedEx Global Education Center is a tangible demonstration of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s commitment to global education. The building offers students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community a place for journeys of understanding of the world. It is an inviting space where this diverse community can work to further the University’s public service mission domestically and abroad. The center was funded in large part by the 2000 North Carolina Higher Education Bond Referendum, a generous gift from the FedEx Corporation, and support from other Carolina alumni and friends.

The center brings together three major components of global education: student and faculty services, academic instruction, and programs and research. Centers, institutes and offices housed in the building work pan-university to support global activity across campus. Students are introduced to international issues through an exciting array of courses and daily global activity in the building.

This 80,000 square-foot, mixed-use space is home to UNC Global and other globally focused units and includes classrooms, seminar rooms and events and exhibition space. The building hosts hundreds of events each year, with community programming ranging from lectures to performances to art exhibitions.

Architect and Design

Constructed in 2007, the FedEx Global Education Center was designed by award-winning architect Andrea Leers of Leers Weinzapfel Associates, a firm known for modernist designs that harmonize with their surroundings.

Andrea Leers graduated from Wellesley College in 1964 with a B.A. in art history. In 1966, she received a master’s in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. She founded Leers Weinzapfel with her colleague, Jane Weinzapfel, in 1982. Based in Boston, the firm has garnered an international reputation for its beautiful and innovative designs.

In December 2006, Leers became the first woman owner of a practice to receive the American Institute of Architecture Firm Award, the organization’s highest honor.

Leers, who in 1995 was elected to the Colleges of Fellows at the American Institute of Architects, has also designed a number of other university projects, including the expansion and restoration of the Hasty Pudding Theater and the new Weismann Preservation Center at Harvard University. In association with Fumihiko Maki, the 1993 Laureate of the Pritzker Architectural Prize, the firm is also designing the Media Laboratory at MIT.

Leers’ other university projects have included the expansion of Josep Lluis Sert’s celebrated 1970 Science Center at Harvard and the University Pavilion at the University of Cincinnati.

Additional Information

A list of all building units and their staff can be found in the FedEx Global Education Center building directory.