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Orange Coast Planetarium Continues Construction With Help From Retired Professor

Construction at Orange Coast College continues as the new on-campus planetarium nears completion, and those efforts were recently made easier when a former professor donated $1 million towards the project.

The generous donation comes from retired language professor Mary McChesney, and her funds will go towards the completion of a Foucault pendulum, which can simulate the rotation of the earth, a first for planetariums across Orange County.

McChesney, who instructed at Orange Coast College for more then 30 years, said that this new facility will not just serve the science department at the college but also be an attraction for the community. At 91 years of age, McChesney professed her love for the college and for her colleague and late partner Adelyn Bonin, who was named in the donation. Learn more: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/orange-coast-college#/entity

Since retiring in 1983, McChesney has played a role in the Orange Coast College Foundation, namely in contributing to scholarships. Doug Bennett, the foundation’s executive director, pointed to her vested interest in the college’s growth as reason for people to expect such that McChesney would chip in for the new planetarium. Still, Bennett was astounded by the dollar amount of her generosity. Learn more: http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-dpt-me-occ-recycling-20170914-story.html

Orange Coast College began construction efforts back in 2016 to bring down the 60-year-old planetarium to make room for a new own. Bennett stressed the need to maintain relevancy with technology in all aspects of education, which had been lacking in this facility. The new planetarium aims to address this with an expanded auditorium to seat 129 attendants at a time and provide space for primary and secondary schools to hold educational functions on site.

Orange Coast College Plants To open the doors to its new planetarium for the fall semester of 2018.

About Orange Coast College:

Since opening its doors in 1947, Orange Coast College has been a provider of higher education to students in the Costa Mesa Community. Each semester come 25,000 students enroll to take advantage of 130 academic programs and technological facilities.

Orange Coast College consistently ranks first in Orange County for its ability to prepare students to continue their educational career in University of California and California State University colleges across the states.

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