Former Language Professor Donates $1 Milllion Towards Orange Coast College Planetarium

Orange Coast College has announced the renovation and expansion of their on-campus planetarium to better accommodate their growing student body and the surrounding community. The ambitious project has been an expensive one, inviting notable alumni to chip in and help see the project to its completion. Former language professor Mary McChesney has joined that list with a generous donation that comes after decades as an educator to a college she holds in high regards.


Since her retirement in the early 1980s, McChesney has remained active at Orange Coast College through its foundation. The 91-year-old former professor has been instrumental in coordinating academic functions and programs, such as the allocation of scholarship dollars to returning and prospective students. According to Doug Bennett, Executive Director of the foundation, that McChesney would choose to donate $1 million doesn’t surprise him as this has been an institution where she has devoted much motivation to help expand and prepare for the challenges of the future.


McChesney, who made this donation in the memory of her late partner and fellow professor Adelyn Bonin, stated that the development of a planetarium will hopefully renew interest in astronomy as a field of study, engaging student from local schools and presenting them with a career prospect by the time they enter the realm of higher education. Her donation will go towards helping that vision become actualized by helping to finish off the construction of a Foucault pendulum, which allows for a seamless approximation of the earth’s natural rotation.


Orange Coast College has released a few details on what could be expected from the completed planetarium, from the expansion to a 129-seat auditorium and accommodations made for surrounding primary and secondary schools to hold functions on-site as well as community events. Doors are expected to open in fall 2018.


About Orange Coast College:


Since opening its doors in 1947, Orange Coast College has been a respected institution of higher learning for the Costa Mesa community. for over seven decades Orange Coast College has been integral to California’s continued commitment to higher education, providing over 135 academic programs to more than 25,000 students per semester.


By focusing technological developments in the real world and the shifting demands of disparate industries, Orange Coast College is not only successful in preparing students to enter the workforce ready to face dynamic challenges but also gives them an opportunity to pursue higher education in California State University and University of California colleges more than any other colle3ge in Orange County.


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