Skip to content

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.

Our final luncheon of 2023-24 was "Medical Education in the San Joaquin Valley" by Dr. Margo Vener, Director of Undergraduate Medical Education. Monthly luncheons will begin again in October 2024.

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. At the end of each spring semester, the Scholarship and Awards Reception and Annual Meeting are held jointly - this year on April 30th, at 5:00pm, at UC Merced. This is a wonderful opportunity for members to meet the recipients of the UFC Scholarships and Community Service Awards and engage with the students who directly benefit from UFC’s fundraising efforts. Event information is emailed to all members 1-2 weeks before each event. 


  • Making Eco-Theatre in a National Park: Shakespeare in Yosemite, presented by Professor Katherine Steele Brokaw
  • Deciphering Shark Ecology through Chemistry, Presented by Dr. Sora Kim, Department of Life & Environmental Sciences
  • Advancing Regional Knowledge: The Sierra Nevada Central Valley Research Archive at UC Merced, presented by Emily Lin, Director of Strategic Initiative, Archives & Special Collections, and also Seeing Is Believing: Using Fluorescent Labels and Proteins to Make the Invisible Visible, presented 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 Dr. 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.


  • Three first-year undergraduates in the first cohort of the PRIME+ BS-to-MD Program, answering UFC member questions on April 2nd after presenting with Dr. Vener:

Three PRIME+ students answering questions

  • List of past performances in Making Eco-Theater in a National Park: Shakespeare in Yosemite, presented in March by ProfessorKatie Steele Brokaw:

  • Map of shark fossils in Deciphering Shark Ecology through Chemistry, presented in February by Professor Sora Kim:

  • Scenes from a luncheon: 


We hope you will join us!