The new planetarium under development at Orange Coast College recently got a galactic donation of $ 1 million from a retired professor of the school, Mary McChesney. She taught English and Spanish for 33 years and was also the executive director of the Orange Coast College Foundation in 1983.The funds were in honour of her late partner Adelyn Bonin who was also a professor of German at OCC. The generous donation is meant to fund a device used to demonstrate Earth’s rotation, Foucault pendulum. The new planetarium will be primarily for scientific studies for the students and the community as a whole.
The ground-breaking of the planetarium began in 2016, and it will be more advanced than the existing one which was established in the 1950’s. It will incorporate a 129-seat auditorium and an exhibit hall featuring an Atmospheric Administration Science and a National Oceanic on a sphere display globe. It will be a major improvement from the old planetarium which had a capacity of about 35 seats. The construction will be open for use by 2018 fall semester and has a budget of approximately $20 million with the larger part of financing originating from a 2012 bond measure. So far OCC has acquired about $2.6 million from donations. In addition to providing a scientific resource for OCC students, it will also be used by students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
About Orange Coast College
Orange Coast College is a community campus located in Orange County, California, United States. It was founded in 1947 with its first classes officially opening in 1948. Since then OCC has grown to be one of the largest and most envied community colleges in the country. It admits more than 25,000 students each semester. Students in OCC are spoiled for choice since the school offers more than 135 academic and career programs including public nautical programs. It is ranked first in the Orange County community colleges leading in the number of students it admits to California State University and the University of California.
Orange Coast College offers winter, fall, spring, and summer classes. However, the school does not provide on-campus housing for students. Nevertheless, OCC is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
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