Record $1.8-million donation to OCC Foundation will fund philosophy scholarship

The Orange Coast College Foundation recently received its largest donation ever — a $1.8-million gift from the estate of David Johnston, a philosophy professor at the Costa Mesa campus from 1960 to 1998.

The money will establish the M.F. and Marvel Monia Johnston Scholarship Fund for philosophy students, which will start next year, according to campus officials.

Johnston died in February 2016 at age 81.

The Nebraska native completed his bachelor’s degree in philosophy at UC Berkeley and a master’s in humanities at San Francisco State University.

Johnston’s estate also established a scholarship fund for Berkeley philosophy students.

“David was my philosophy professor in 1965 and colleague for 30 years,” retired OCC sociology professor Terry Timmins said in a statement. “When I greeted him in the morning with a ‘Good morning, David,’ he would often reply with, ‘What do you think?’ I would have to stop and think, ‘What was I thinking?’

“David ... always the consummate philosophy professor.”

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