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FedEx Global Education Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary and International Education

December 6, 2017
UNC Global
Flyer with the words Celebrating 10 years, FedEx Global Education Center

The 2017-2018 academic year marks the 10th anniversary of the FedEx Global Education Center. On Nov. 30, the center hosted a reception in recognition of this milestone, reflecting on Carolina’s global achievements and honoring the faculty, staff and alumni who have been an instrumental part of UNC’s international activity.

At the reception, Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, began the evening by highlighting the diverse work that units within the building undertake to make a global impact here and abroad. Executive Vice Provost and Chief International Officer Ron Strauss reflected on UNC’s longstanding history of global education, noting that UNC’s first international student, Shinzaburo Mogi, arrived to Chapel Hill from Japan in 1893. Strauss also highlighted other milestones in UNC’s global history—from its first study abroad program in Sevilla in 1973 to its extensive collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Malawi, which has roots in the late 1980s.

The celebration culminated with a short film highlighting values of the Carolina global community, and in particular, those who work and study in the FedEx Global Education Center. Katie Bowler Young, director of global relations for UNC Global, introduced the film, noting that these values include the humanitarian ideals of South African leader, human rights activist and namesake of the building’s auditorium, Nelson Mandela, and the recognition of lifelong language learning as a critical part of global education, cultural exchange and international friendship. The film reaffirms these principles, featuring students, staff and faculty reciting an excerpt from Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom in several of the 25 languages UNC offers to students.

James Peacock standing next to Florence Peacock in the FedEx Global Education Center atrium. Both are smiling.
James Peacock, Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anthropology, and Florence Peacock, international singer and teacher, watch the film in which they were featured. James Peacock has worked almost 50 years to advance UNC’s connections around the globe as one of the earliest champions of global education at UNC. Photo by Kristen Chavez.

Strauss emphasized UNC’s international partnerships and opportunities that units in the FedEx Global Education Center offer students and faculty. He also thanked those who help make UNC’s campus a welcoming community for students and scholars from more than 100 countries. “Your commitment to honoring and informing our community about world cultures is invaluable,” said Strauss.

The FedEx Global Education Center was built in 2007 to bring together units committed to international education and previously housed in buildings across campus. The building is a tangible demonstration of the University’s commitment to global education, and it creates a hub for UNC’s global activity, with space for student and faculty services, academic instruction, and programs and research.

The 80,000-square-foot building was funded with $22.5 million from the North Carolina General Assembly and the people of North Carolina through the 2000 North Carolina Higher Education Bond Referendum, along with support from FedEx and UNC alumni. Today the building is home to UNC’s global and area studies centers, six of which have been designated National Resource Centers by the U.S. Department of Education. It also houses International Student and Scholar Services, the Study Abroad Office in the College of Arts and Sciences, and academic programs including the Curriculum in Global Studies and the TransAtlantic Masters Program, among other units that support UNC’s international activity.

The FedEx Global Education Center hosts hundreds of lectures, exhibitions, conferences and international films throughout the year. Learn more about special events at

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