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New:  Sounding Board Lecture Links can be found in our Links section.


Who Are We?

Oceanids is a University of California, San Diego organization and support group promoting friendship and services to the UC San Diego community.  Oceanids is open to all who are interested in UC San Diego as well as faculty, staff and active members of campus support groups and their spouses.  In particular, we shall:

Oceanids service activities include:  Undergraduate service awards, graduate fellowships, Friday Cafe, Kitchen & Baby Equipment Exchange and other service projects.  The Newcomers group welcomes and assists new members to the UC San Diego community throughout the academic year.  For more information on Newcomers, contact Liz Wills, (858) 454-6858. 

Our annual events include:  Fall Welcome Lunch, Holiday Party, Whale Watching , Desert Camping, Museum Bus Trip, Campus Focus, Theater Fund Raiser and Spring Luncheon, just to mention a few.

Interest Groups are the backbone of our Oceanids organization.  They are here to meet the many varied needs of our UC San Diego families.  If you are interested in book clubs, day trips, bird watching, practicing your French or German, wine tasting, playing bridge, join us.  For a more complete list and description of our groups, click on Interest Groups.


If you are a University scholar, researcher, staff member, visiting guest of the University or a person interested in being part of a vibrant University community, you are invited to join us.  We are located in the UC San Diego International Center.  For more information, please contact oceanids@ucsd.edu, or download a membership application.


President's Message

I often feel that the January 1 date for New Year’s Day is artificial. We celebrate with fireworks and too much drinking because the time is not an instinctive one for new beginnings. It’s neither a religious nor a natural time to celebrate. We seem to owe it to Julius Caesar who installed his version of the calendar. When the Julian calendar got terribly out of sync with the solar year, Pope Gregory XIII decreed a better calendar which we more or less used today in the West. But as you know, 2016 is a Leap Year with an additional day to get the calendar back in whack.

But think instead about February. Early February is a much more natural time for a new year. The daylight hours lengthen (whence the term “Lent”). The British celebrate February 2 with Candlemass, the official ending of the Christmas season. In Germany, it is Lichtmess (light mass). Its pagan roots celebrated the coming of light with candles and the fertility blessings of livestock. The Chinese New Year occurs in this period also; in the year 2016, the Year of the Monkey begins on February 9. If you are born in this cycle, you are smart, lively, and quick-witted!

All over Europe, February 2 was a time for weather predictions, often with animals as the prognosticators. For me, as a native Pennsylvanian, it’s the Groundhog that matters. Many towns where German immigrants settled still have the custom of forecasting weather by the behavior of animals. Not finding the German badger, they adopted the native groundhog/woodchuck. Thanks to the Bill Murray movie, Punxsutawney Phil has become the go-to groundhog for the news media.

In early February, we all sense the arrival of the new season. With this “quickening” comes the urge to begin anew. Out with the remains of the holidays; shed those heavy winter woolies; tackle that cleaning job; spruce up your living quarters; buy new clothes for the spring life-style.

 We Oceanids are celebrating the new season with a party on February 6. We hope all of us, and our guests from the Friends, will come along to engage old acquaintances and maybe meet some new ones. We hope some of you will find “white elephants” to donate and discover some intriguing new or different items to purchase. Whether you have an ”elephant” or not, please do come out for a congenial morning and light lunch.

Oceanids does many good things for the community but we also take care to enjoy each other’s company and tend to our friendships. This fall, we enjoyed a lovely brunch at the Geisel House. Our White Elephant party will be our second big get-together of the year and we predict it will be a lot of fun.

Happy New Year – the “real “one!

     Liz Bonkowsky, President, Oceanids, lizbonkowsky@yahoo.com


  Special Announcements



White Elephant Sale and Party


Saturday, February 6, 2016


11:00am - 1:30pm

UCSD International Center


Bring your cherished, beautiful but unwanted items to the pavilion and donate them to Oceanids.  Different "Grab and Go" tables will be for differently priced items.  Those not sold may be donated to the Friends' Resale Shop.  A light lunch will be provided.  Bring cash and your checkbook.


Friends of the International Center 113th Ethnic Scholarship Fundraiser


Chinese New Year Dinner


Saturday, February 27, 2016

6:30 pm

UCSD International Center


Friends $50/ Non-members $60/UCSD Students $25


Reservations are required and must be received by February 15th! (See newsletter for registration form.)



Save the Date


Oceanids Spring Luncheon


Thursday, May 19, 2016


Bali Hai Restaurant


(Details to follow)



UCSD Tours

Sundays, Year-Round at 2pm

South Gilman Information Pavilion

Cost:  Free

Walking Tours - 1st Sunday of the month

Bus Tours - Remaining Sundays of the month, excluding holidays

Reservations are required. 

Call (858) 534-4414 or visit  www.ucsdnews.ucsd.ed/tours to make your reservation.



For questions regarding the website, please contact Mary Woo, mwoonew@gmail.com