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Campus Box 6210
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News Release

For immediate use

May 23, 2006 -- No. 279

FedEx gift of $5 million to support global
education building, internationalization efforts

CHAPEL HILL - FedEx Corp. has committed a $5 million gift to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to support a global education building that will bring several key international activities under one roof and advance a major academic priority.

The university broke ground in November 2004 for the building, which will create a vibrant hub of international studies, research, public service and cultural exchange.

Chancellor James Moeser joined Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Corp., today (May 23) in Washington, D.C., where the gift was announced at an event releasing a new landmark study entitled, "The Power of Access." This study was conducted by SRI International, commissioned by FedEx and ranked 75 countries, based on their level of access to goods, services and information.

"As the most international of companies, FedEx is a strong strategic fit for UNC-Chapel Hill because we intend to be among the most international of universities," said Moeser. "The new building FedEx is supporting gives Carolina a tremendous opportunity to showcase our international assets, advance our internationalization efforts and make a statement to the state, nation and world that we are seriously committed to global education and engagement."

FedEx, which operates in more than 200 countries and territories, is planning to build a hub in Greensboro, representing a major investment in North Carolina.

"This gift is part of a broader commitment by FedEx to North Carolina, its people and its economy," said Smith. "The building directly aligns with our interests in advancing education and academic programs in the international arena and will help the university in its efforts to enhance North Carolina's ability to thrive in a global economy."

When dedicated in March 2007, the building will be named for FedEx in recognition of the new gift. The naming was approved by the Chancellor's Naming Committee, whose members are faculty and staff, as well as the UNC Board of Trustees.

The gift counts toward the Carolina First Campaign. The comprehensive, multi-year private fund-raising campaign has a goal of $2 billion to support Carolina's vision of becoming the nation's leading public university.

Moeser has designated 2007 as a year of international focus for UNC. The global education building dedication will launch a yearlong series of programs, conferences and activities that will emphasize the university's increasing focus on internationalization.

Carolina again leads - for the third consecutive year - all public research universities for the percentage of students going abroad - 36.7 percent -before they graduate. Other initiatives include collaborations with the National University of Singapore (NUS), which Moeser visited last year. The College of Arts and Sciences and NUS are developing a new international joint-undergraduate degree program that is believed to be among the first of its kind for UNC's peer campuses.

"The global education building is where our students will learn that the world is as close as their doorstep," said Dr. Peter Coclanis, associate provost for international affairs. "What is exciting is how our new relationship with FedEx is about much more than bricks and mortar. It opens up all sorts of opportunities - opportunities to bring prominent world figures to Chapel Hill to engage in discussions with us on critical global issues and to create multidisciplinary programs, conferences and events focused on relevant global themes and key regions of the world."

UNC's plans are unique among U.S. colleges and universities for bringing together in one facility the three major components of international education: student services, academic programs and faculty research.

The building will for the first time house in one place all international and area studies programs for the College of Arts and Sciences, including study abroad. It will be home to the University Center for International Studies, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services and a research center for visiting foreign and U.S. scholars, as well as graduate and professional students.

The global education building will include spaces for interaction among students, faculty and visiting scholars. It is located at the intersection of McCauley and Pittsboro streets, next to the School of Social Work.

Features will include classroom space, a videoconferencing center and a home for several academic and student programs now spread across campus. Those include the Office of Study Abroad, the Curriculum in International and Area Studies, Carolina Asia Center, University Center for International Studies, Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, African Studies Center, Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies, Center for European Studies, Institute of Latin American Studies and the Global Research Institute.

The N.C. Higher Education Bond Referendum, approved in 2000, generated $22.5 million for the $39 million building. Private gifts, including the one from FedEx, are expected to total $7.5 million. University non-appropriated receipts also are being used toward project costs.

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FedEx study link:

Video link: Click here to see a video featuring Peter Coclanis, associate provost for international affairs at UNC, and Bill Margaritis, corporate vice president for worldwide communications and investor relations at FedEx, discussing what the gift means to Carolina and FedEx.

UNC contact: Mike McFarland, (919) 962-8593,