Planetarium Project at Orange Coast College Receives Huge Gift From Former Professor

The planetarium construction project at Orange Coast College has gotten one step closer to completion thanks to a very generous donation made by one of its former instructors. Retired professor Mary McChesney has contributed an unprecedented $1 million towards the planetarium project. The 91-year-old used to teach English and Spanish at the college for over 33 years, before she took her retirement in 1983. Learn more:


In a recent media statement, the former OCC professor gave more details as to why she made such a large gift to the institution she used to teach at. McChesney stated that the contribution was made in honor of her late partner, Adelyn Bonin, who passed away in January. Just like McChesney, Bonin was also a long-time professor at the Costa Mesa college, teaching German before retiring in 1983. McChesney went on to state that even though she had retired and grown old, her love for the institution at which she taught for over three decades is still very much alive and she hopes that the new planetarium will make Orange Coast College the center of scientific studies in the area.


According to officials at the college, the retired professor’s donation will be used to build a Foucault pendulum, which is a device that demonstrates how our planet rotates. Once the planetarium is built, it will featured all the latest in technology and have a seating capacity of 129. Orange Coast College expects construction of the new structure to be completed for the start of the 2018 fall semester.


Orange Coast College is a community college and one of the largest educational institutions in the Costa Mesa, California, area, with over 25,000 students attending. The college was founded in 1947, after a measure was passed by local voters giving the green light towards building a new junior college on land that was occupied by a deactivated military base.


Orange Coast College now offers a wide range of educational programs designed to suit the needs of its diverse student body. Some lead to 2-year associate degrees, while others are diploma and certificate programs aimed at individuals who want to acquire skills that are useful on today’s job market. Learn more:

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