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Lunch Program and Events

One of the hallmarks of University Friends Circle’s programming is our monthly luncheons featuring outstanding UC Merced professors or local Merced area subject experts.

Luncheons are generally held on the first Tuesday of each month during the academic year, October through April. Members are encouraged to attend and are invited to bring guests who may be interested in that month’s topic or in a future membership in UFC. Interested persons who are not yet UFC members are also welcome, but registration and lunch payment are required in advance. Here is a printable PDF of the 2023-24 Luncheon Programs.

NEXT LUNCHEON:  “Deciphering Shark Ecology through Chemistry,” by Professor Sora Kim, promises to be impressive as she explains how she uses stable Isotope analysis on fossilized shark teeth to determine why the megalodon went extinct 2.6 million years ago. It will be Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at the Mainzer in Merced, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Pre-registration is closed, but limited on-site registration is available.

In addition to monthly luncheons, members are invited to participate in a variety of special events and initiatives. This includes the annual UC Intercampus Trip, UC Merced athletic events, distributing Snacks for Scholars shortly before finals each semester, a lively holiday social, and participation in the UFC Book Club. Each May, the Scholarship and Awards Reception and Annual Meeting are held jointly. This is a wonderful opportunity for members to meet the recipients of the UFC Scholarship and Community Service Award and engage with the students who directly benefit from UFC’s fundraising efforts.

The next special event is the UFC Tailgate + UC Merced Women's or Men's Basketball, on Thursday, February 15, 2024, starting at 5:30pm. $31 per person includes  parking, shuttle, appetizers, beverages, ticket to the game, reserved seating, and fun for all! You can choose to watch the women's game before the tailgate, or instead go to the men's game after the tailgate. Both teams will play the Park Univeristy Gilbert Buccaneers. REGISTER HERE.


  • Advancing Regional Knowledge: The Sierra Nevada Central Valley Research Archive at UC Merced, Emily Lin, Director of Strategic Initiative, Archives & Special Collections, and also Seeing Is Believing: Using Fluorescent Labels and Proteins to Make the Invisible Visible, by Dr. David Gravano, Technical Director of the Cytometry Stem Cell Instrumentation Foundry. Both talks were part of the January Luncheon.
  • Pray for Rain: Drought and the Ancient Maya, a screening of the documentary film Underworlds: Belize, presented in November 2023 by Holley Moyes, Professor of Anthropology & Heritage Studies, with specializations in the archaeology of religion, cave archaeology, and sacred spaces.
  • The Food Innovation Initiativewas presented in April by Professor Josh Viers, watershed scientist with expertise in resource management and environmental decision making.

  • Tribology Lab and Mars 2020 Mission presented in February by Professor Ashlie Martini and students.

  • Where Are They Now? - a November panel of alumni Linda Barreto ('08), Uday Bali ('08) and Kristynn Sullivan ('15)

  • October 4, 2022: 


We hope you will join us!