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University Friends Circle enhances strong relationships between University of California Merced and communities of the Central Valley through programs that promote social and intellectual interaction. University Friends Circle raises funds to support UC Merced endowed scholarships and a Student Impact Fund (SIF) that supports projects and student organizations that significantly contribute to UC Merced student success. University Friends Circle is open to all who support the mission and activities of the organization.


University Friends Circle (UFC) was the inspiration of Chancellor Steve Kang's Associate, Mia Kang. In 2008 she formed an organizing group that consisted of community leaders, business people and UC Merced staff and faculty to begin the process of designing and defining the goals and objectives of UFC.

All University of California campuses have groups that are analogous to UFC. What makes UFC unique is that it welcomes all interested parties, who share the common mission of UFC. There is no requirement to have a college degree, it's not exclusive to faculty and staff spouses and it specifically seeks membership from all members of the Central Valley communities.

Chancellor and Mia Kang also endowed the UFC Scholarship fund with a very generous initial donation. Membership fees and other donations continue to grow the scholarship fund and in 2009 the first awards were made. Annual scholarships will be awarded.

How to Become Involved

  • Become a Member. Join today to receive updated information about events and programs and member-only invitations.
  • Attend a Monthly Luncheon Program. Each month, October through April, UFC hosts a luncheon program that features fascinating UC Merced faculty to share their research with us.
  • Get Involved. UFC members are invited to serve on any of the standing committees to help further the mission and goals of the organization.