Leaving a Permanent Mark – Professor Mary McChesney

Deep in the Orange County in California, many students have found a perfect place for their academic endeavors. With approximately 3 million people living in this area, Orange Coast College offers a necessary option for students who are looking for a smaller, locally-established, school. Formed exactly 70 years ago, it hosts 25,000 students as of Fall in 2016. Offering courses on dozens of different majors, this school has built a reputation as number one transfer college for Orange County. One can obtain an associate degree in human or physical sciences, various areas of business, technology, and many more. College also provides certification studies for those that are not looking to transfer upon graduation, and these programs will usually take less time to complete.


Recently, one of retired professors from this school has grabbed some media attention. Her charitable donation amounting to $1 million is going to help college create a new planetarium, modernizing the one built back in 1950s. Professor Mary McChesney decided to help college obtain a device which will demonstrate Earth’s rotation. This will be the only pendulum device that Orange County will have. Ninety-one-year-old declared her love for the college, and confessed that the donation was done to honor her late partner, Adelyn Bonin, who passed in January.


During her 33-year-long career, McChesney taught English and Spanish, prior to retiring in 1983. Even after retiring, she remained an active contributor to the college through various scholarships and foundations. Her donation will help make it possible to create a 129-seat auditorium, which is a lot bigger than its predecessor that could fit about 35 visitors. Although the planetarium won’t be finished until 2018, ground has been broken in 2016 and the project is fully under construction.


Mary McChesney will be able to help her school build something that she refers to as “center of scientific studies for college students as well as the surrounding community”. The legacy she leaves behind will have a permanent mark on the college as she took part in it for 33 years, and helped create something revolutionizing for the future generations to use.


To learn more, visit http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/.