Orange Coast College (OCC) in Costa Mesa received a generous gift of $1 million from Mary McChesney, a retired professor who taught English and Spanish at the community college. McChesney made the donation in honor of Adelyn Bonin, her late partner, who was also a retired professor who taught German.
The gift will fund a Foucault pendulum, which demonstrates the Coriolis effect, for the planetarium. The new $20 million planetarium is scheduled to open in 2018.
Recently, OCC’s astronomy department hosted a viewing of a solar eclipse, inviting the public to witness the event through their solar telescopes.
When the new planetarium is completed, the astronomy department will host more eclipse viewing events with shows in the new 125-seat immersion theater.
Orange College is deeply involved in the community; they facilitate the Orange County Children’s Book Festival, an annual event drawing over 250,0000 attendees. OCC also allows community members to rent their facilities for meetings, weddings and other events.
Classes started in 1948 and then Orange Coast College grew into one of the country’s largest community colleges. The large, 164-acre campus enrolls approximately 25,000 students each semester.
Orange Coast College offers an affordable junior college education with 135 academic and career options, where students can earn an associates degree, a certificate or they can take classes, which will count toward a four-year degree from a California State University.
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College accredits OCC; the college holds numerous other accreditations for its career programs, such as one from the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
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