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.
Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, highlighted 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, 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.
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,” he said.
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 through support from the North Carolina General Assembly, with a $2.5 million improvement bond fund, and through the generosity of FedEx and UNC alumni. Today it 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 & 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 global.unc.edu.
Story by UNC Global