Orange Coast College Receives $1-Million Planetarium Construction Grant

Orange Coast College will have a new planetarium. The college received a $1-million dollar grant from former professor of Spanish Mary McChesney. The generous donation will pay for the purchase of a Foucault pendulum. Scientists and others use such devices to demonstrate how the earth rotates. As such, it will be the only Foucault pendulum of its kind in Orange County.


There is a lot of excitement surrounding construction of the new planetarium. It will serve as a center for scientific studies for the surrounding community as well as Orange Coast College students. Mary McChesney has lived a full life and is 91 years old. However, her love for the college is still as strong as it ever was. McChesney made the donation partly in honoring her late partner’s memory, Adelyn Bonin, who died in January. Bonin was a German language professor until retiring in 1983.


Since her retirement, McChesney has maintained ongoing contributions to the college’s foundation and scholarships. Orange Coast College is one of the nation’s largest and finest community colleges. It currently enrolls more than 25,000 students and features 135 career and academic programs. Its nautical programs are acclaimed. The college offers classes in fall, winter, spring, and summer. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges fully accredits all of OCC’s classes and programs.


OCC also ranks high in the number of students who decide to transfer to California State University systems. Nearly 16,000 students have transferred to CSU and UC campuses in the past decade. Many OCC students transfer to private colleges.


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