Retired Professor donates $1 million for new Orange County Planetarium

Orange County Community College’s construction on its new planetarium might have stalled were it not for the donation of a 91-year-old retired professor. May McChesney gave the university a $1 million donation to help the college complete construction on a new planetarium.

The 91-year-old professor told the Los Angeles times that she may be old but her love for the college has not changed. She has seen the technology used in planetariums change greatly over time.

The new donation will also include a Foucault’s pendulum, a device used to demonstrate the rotation of the earth. When the device’s construction’s construction is finished, it will be the only such device in Orange County.

Orange County College serves thousands of students in Oakland and the surrounding area. The new educational facility will teach hundreds of the college’s astronomy students each year. High school, middle school.

The retired professor who made the generous donation to the community college does not have a background in physics or in astronomy. She has not background in science at all. Instead, she spent her time at the university teaching Spanish and English. Learn more about Orange Coast College: http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/Pages/home.aspx and http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/academics/class_schedule/Pages/default.aspx

It was her love of the institution that sparked her generosity. It also allows the planetarium to handle more guests per visit. The old facility could only had 35 seats to accommodate guests, but the new facility will accommodate over 100 people at the same time.

The one million dollar donation may not complete the facility, but it will help its construction along. The new planetarium’s projected cost is $20 million.