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Luxury yacht is donated to California college

Orange Coast College, in Costa Mesa, Calif., this week received an early Christmas present in the form of a $2 million boat donation.

Jerry Barto, a developer and longtime resident of Newport Beach, Calif., gifted the luxury yacht Nordic Star to help the college's professional mariner program, which trains students for careers in the maritime industry.

“All three of my kids went to OCC, so this was a family decision. We wanted to help students and this great program, so it was an easy decision to make,” Barto said in a statement.

Designed by Jack Hargrave, and built in the United States, the vessel will dock at OCC's School of Sailing and Seamanship in Newport Beach Harbor. Classes will be conducted on board year-round.

According to Brad Avery, director of the college's marine programs, the donation is especially timely, considering the ailing economy.

"We needed a ship that gives students hands-on training and skills they need to get jobs,” Avery said in a statement. “Nordic Star is absolutely perfect for that.”

The Nordic Star is the largest boat that the college has received. Past boat donations have come from Roy Disney, Dr. Laura Schlessinger and the Steele Foundation.

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