A boost for planetarium construction at Orange Coast College

Mary McChesney, a former professor at Orange Coast College, has donated 1 million dollars for a Foucault Pendulum at the future 120-seat planetarium that the college is planning to build. The Foucault pendulum will be used to educate students on Earth’s rotation and will be the only one of its kind available in Orange County.

McChesney has been a contributor to the Orange Coast College Foundation for many years by donating to scholarship programs and directly to the foundation. McChesney states that she made the donation in honor of her partner Adelyn Bonin, who has passed away.

Orange Coast College has already torn down the old planetarium which was built in the 1950’s and could only seat a mere 35 people. This new planetarium is much needed with the more than 25,000 students that are enrolled at the college each semester with OCC also hosting one of the largest public nautical programs in the nation.

OCC prides itself on its facilities having the latest in new technology which is a necessity since half of the students enrolled are in OCC’s Career and Technical Education programs.

Doug Bennet, who is the OCC Foundation’s director stated that the new planetarium will not only be used to serve the OCC student’s but also will be used to educate kids from kindergarten to the 12th grade.

Ground was broken in 2016 and with an overall budget of 20 million dollars and an additional 2.6 million dollars in donations, OCC officials plan to have the new planetarium built by the fall semester of 2018.

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