Orange Coast College was the recipient of a generous donation from one of the professors that used to teach there. This retired professor, Mary McChesney, donated $1 million which is to be used in the new planetarium currently being built on the school’s campus.
The money is designated for a device called a Foucault pendulum which provides a demonstration of the Earth’s rotation. This pendulum will be the first one located in Orange County, California. Learn more about Orange Coast College: http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/Pages/home.aspx and http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/academics/class_schedule/Pages/default.aspx
When announcing her gift to Orange Coast County Mary McChesney said that the new planetarium will provide a place for scientific study for not just students at this community college but also those in the surrounding community.
She added that while at age 91 she is now old she continues to love Orange Coast College and wants to contribute to its future. She added that the financial gift was made in memory of her longtime partner, Adelyn Bonin.
Mary McChesney taught at this community college until 1983 when she retired. She had taught both English and Spanish for 33 years. After retiring she joined the Orange College Foundations as its executive director. Over the years she has also provided scholarships to students and been involved in campus life.
The planetarium construction was started in 2016 and once completed will have 129 seats as well as an exhibit hall. The hall will a Science on a Sphere display globe supplied by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Orange Coast College was established in 1947 and the first classes were held in 1948. It now has 25,000 students attend every semester and is one of the largest community colleges in the United States. It is situated on 164 acres and access to ocean beaches is just minutes away from it.
At Orange Coast College there are many programs that students can be enrolled in. There are over 135 such programs with the most popular by far being in its Career and Technical Education program.
Many of the students that graduate go on to obtaining a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year educational institution, usually within the state of California.