Former OCC Professor Shows the True Spirit of What it Means to be Part of the Pirate Family

Orange Coast College is a close-knit family of faculty, current students and alumni. This sense of unity was exemplified recently, by a $1 million donation graciously given a 91-year old retired OCC professor. In July, former English and Spanish professor Mary McChesney gifted the substantial monies in honor of her late partner, Adelyn Bonin. Bonin passed in January of this year and also taught in foreign languages, both retiring in 1983.



McChesney’s million-dollar contribution will help bring the new on-campus planetarium into reality. Through this and other welcome donations, the new facility will seat nearly 4 times as many visitors as the old one. The original OCC planetarium, built in the 1950s, served its purpose, but was technologically outdated.



The old planetarium was torn down to make room for the state-of-the-art facility, which will also be available to the community. A 2012 bond generated most of the $20 million budget, with nearly $3 million coming from donors like McChesney. The facility is expected to officially open before the 2018 fall semester.



The new planetarium will be yet another educational tool available on the 164-acre, Southern California campus. It will help enhance what is already a nation-wide reputation as one of the strongest community colleges in the United States. More than 25,000 students enroll at OCC each year. Many will continue their education at other colleges in California, plus at outstanding universities across the country.



Orange Coast College divides the year into four sessions, fall, winter, spring, and summer. The school has earned accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, offering students more than 135 academic and career programs of study to choose. Half of the enrollment concentrates their pursuits on the OCC Career and Technical Education program.


The students and faculty at Orange Coast College support and enlighten one another on a daily basis. The heartfelt contribution by former Professor McChesney authenticates what everyone understands. At OCC, it’s all about developing and promoting a sense of family. Students are looking to build a solid foundation will find the programs and people at Orange Coast College waiting with open arms. In same mindset as Mary McChesney, everyone at OCC appreciates what really matters most.


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