Category Archives: Retired Professor

Orange Coast College Receives Generous Aid for New Planetarium

Orange Coast College has recently received a surprise from former professor Mary McChesney. McChesney has generously gifted the college a one million dollar donation which will be used to construct a Foucault pendulum as part of their new planetarium project.

A Foucault pendulum, named for the French physicist, is a 19th century device used to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. Foucault pendulums are popular attractions in science museums and on university campuses however the pendulum planned for Orange Coast College will be the only one in Orange County.

McChesney, a retired professor, made the donation in honor of her late partner, who was also employed as a professor at the college. McChesney was a routine contributor to Orange Coast’s scholarship program. Her sizable donation was part of a total of upwards of 2.5 million dollars gifted towards the planetarium project from various donors.

In addition to the Foucault pendulum, the new planetarium at Orange Coast College will feature expanded seating space and will cater to students ranging from kindergarten through high school. Completion of the new planetarium is targeted for 2018.

Orange Coast College is positioned on 164-acres in Costa Mesa, California. Founded in 1947, Orange Coast College is widely considered one of the nation’s top community college institutions. With a wide range of academic areas of expertise as well as a vibrant athletic program, Orange Coast College is well-established as one of the finest community college options in the nation.

Located just south of Los Angeles, Orange Coast College offers a unique experience for students with proximity to the many cultural attractions of the area as well as the lush, pristine beaches nearby.

Featuring both a strong academic profile as well as an active and opulent student lifestyle, Orange Coast has recently completed several other cosmetic and institutional upgrades to their campus. Since 2008, Orange Coast has opened a new library, a new math, business, and computing center, as well as a planned expansion to their recycling center.

With the addition of the planetarium project featuring the Foucault pendulum, Orange Coast College is continuing to raise its profile and stay at the forefront as one of the nation’s best community colleges.