Studying the Stars at OCC

Orange Coast College is a community college in Costa Mesa, California. It was founded in 1947 and over the last 70 years has become one of the largest and finest community colleges in the country. Orange Coast College ranks number one in Orange Country regarding students transferred to the University of California and other prestigious private universities. OCC offers over 135 academic and career programs and has one of the leading public nautical programs in the country. Orange Coast College has helped set thousands of students on the path to a successful future.


Orange Coast College is making significant progress as it tries to improve their already prestigious programs; they are in the process of building a new planetarium. Recently, a former professor donated one million dollars towards the construction of this planetarium. Mary McChesney made the donation partly out of love for the college and partly on behalf of her late friend, partner, and fellow professor, Adelyn Bonin. Both women taught at the college for years until they both retired in 1983. McChesney believes Bonin would have heartily approved of the construction and donation.


McChesney’s generous donation will go towards the building of a Foucault pendulum: an instrument that demonstrates the rotation of the Earth. This device will be the only of its kind in Orange County and will be used by students and scholars alike. The planetarium, on the other hand, will not only be used by OCC students but by young students as well, grades K through twelve. The planetarium will also feature an auditorium that will seat 129 people, and will eventually be open to students and local residents alike.


The planetarium is truly a gift to the community and McChesney’s donation is truly a gift to the planetarium. This building will change the lives and careers of so many people in Orange County seeking to learn about the astronomical sciences. OCC is truly excited about the project and very proud of the people like McChesney who have helped to see it through. The college hopes to see the planetarium open by the 2018 fall semester.


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