Orange Coast College Foundation received a gift of $1 million from retired Spanish Professor Mary McChesney. The donation will fund a Foucault Pendulum for the Costa Mesa college’s planetarium, which the college said it expects to complete in the fall of 2018.
McChesney, 91, is making the donation in honor of her late partner, Adelyn Bonin, who passed away in January 2016. Bonin taught German and retired from OCC in 1983 after 24 years of service.
The college said its planetarium will be the first of its kind in Orange County, serving students from grade school through college. The facility will include a state-of-the-art presentation room with a 40-foot dome and theater-style seating for 125.
Also planned is an exhibit hall with a Science on a Sphere National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration display globe. The pendulum — which will be powered by an electromagnet and used to demonstrate the rotation of the earth — will be one of only a few in the state and the only one in Orange County, according to the college.