Retired Orange Coast College Professor Donates A Million Dollars To School To Build New Planetarium

Orange Coast College has recently broke ground on the build of a new planetarium all thanks to the million dollar donation from retired professor at Orange Coast College. Mary McChesney taught at the Orange Coast College for over 30 years and taught Spanish and English before she retired. She retired in 1983 along with her partner Adelyn “Lyn” Bonin who taught German at the school. Lyn died in January and Mary wanted to make the donation in her partner’s name.


Mary speaks about her love for the education of students and even though she has gotten older through the years, she still longs for others to reach their goals in the near future. Mary has been a part of the College Foundations for years and she has maintained the ongoing contributor for the foundation through scholarships.


The planetarium had broke ground back in 2016 while the existing one was taken down. The previous planetarium was built in the early 50’s. Because technology is always updating and changing, the need for a newer, more up to date planetarium is needed.


The new planetarium is going to feature the 129 seat auditorium as well as the exhibit hall which will feature a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for science of the sphere display globe. The previous planetarium could only hold 35 visitors at once.


The new planetarium will also be a resource for others around the community as it allows students from kindergarten up to 12th grade to use and experience the planetarium. This is something that is truly incredible for the school as well as for the community.


The overall cost of the new planetarium is around 20 million dollars. The school has received donations up to nearly 3 million dollars including the million dollars from Mary. The majority of the funds have been from the 2012 bond measure for the school.


The planetarium is said to be set to be open in the fall of 2018 for Orange Coast College students to enjoy. When the new planetarium opens, it will be a giant step forward for Orange Coast College.


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