McChesney Donates $1 Million Towards OCC’S New Planetarium

Orange Coast College (OCC) is one of the biggest community colleges in America. The institution is known for its state of the art facilities that incorporate the latest technology. In 2016, OCC commissioned the construction of a new planetarium that will cost the college $20 million. Mary McChesney, a retired professor, was excited by the OCC’s ambitious project, and she donated a whopping $1 million to fund the project.

McChesney, 91, was part of OCC’S teaching fraternity before she retired in 1983. McChesney’s stay at OCC saw her meet her life partner, Adelyn Bonin, with whom she retired with in 1983. Both McChesney and Bonin were professors at OCC. McChesney taught English and Spanish; Bonin taught German. Unfortunately, Bonin passed on at the start of the year. Learn more:

Having spent 33 years at OCC, McChesney says she developed a deep affection for the institution. Her love for OCC led her to donate. She also dedicated part of her donation to her late partner. McChesney stated that her late partner would approve of her decision to give.

Present during McChesney’s donation was Doug Bennett, the executive director of the Orange Coast College Foundation. Bennet could barely hide his joy when he termed McChesney’s gesture as generous. He indicated that McChesney had been part of OCC Foundation: she continuously contributed to the foundation and scholarships. Learn more:

Bennett blamed the fast-evolving technology for the need to construct a new planetarium. He said that while the old planetarium could barely hold 35 visitors, the new facility will house a 129-seat auditorium and an exhibit hall. Bennett has high expectations for the new planetarium to be an educational facility for all and sundry. The modern facility will be financed by the 2012 bond measure as well as donations from well-wishers such McChesney. The construction work on the new planetarium is expected to come to a halt next year with the facility ready for use.

OCC was founded in 1947. The community college is located in Orange County, California. The college is home to 24000 undergraduate students. Population-wise, OCC is the third largest college in Orange County.