Orange Coast College started the construction of a new planetarium in 2016 and it is expected to be opened in the fall semester of 2018. The new facility is supposed to have a hundred and twenty-nine seat auditorium and an exhibit hall. This would be a great improvement from the previous which was torn down that could only host thirty-five visitors. A total of twenty million dollar budget is estimated and the college has already received more than two million dollars of donation including a million dollar donation from a former instructor, Mary McChesney.
Mary McChesney said that the donation was due to her great love of the Orange Coast College and the fact that the planetarium will be of great help to students at the school and the community since it is the only one of its kind in Orange County. Mary also commented that the donation was also in honor of her late partner, Adelyn Bonin, who was also a professor at OCC.
The executive director of the Orange Coast College Foundation, Doug Bennett was so pleased with McChesney’s donation. He said that even though he had heard that she would contribute to the project, he did not think it would be such a huge gift. The money will be used to fund Foucault pendulum, a device that demonstrates earth’s rotation.
Orange Coast College is one of the largest community colleges in the nation. Being fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the school enrolls more than twenty-five thousand students in each of its summer, fall, winter and spring semesters. OCC was founded in 1947, since then it has grown to offer over one thirty-five academic and career programs. Almost half of the students are enrolled at the school’s Career and Technical Education programs.
Orange Coast College together with two other community colleges provides administrative services and funding for post-secondary education. OCC provides affordable education in remedial and transferable lower-division courses meant for students who want to transfer to either the University of California or California State University. Orange Coast College has been ranked the top in the number of students that have transferred to the two universities.
Follow Orange Coast College on twitter.