One of the most respected and beloved professors at Bethel College is retiring. Dr. Bob Laurent is calling it quits after 17 years at the school. Laurent is a professor of religion and Bible and the vice president for college relations. Some students expressed concerns about his future at Bethel when his name did not appear on the course schedule for the fall of 2014. Students often want to register early for the classes he teaches, but they couldn’t find his name attached to any classes next fall. The Beacon has tried to contact him about his retirement, but he has avoided the issue. “He doesn’t want to talk about it,” said Terry Linhart, chair of the religion and philosophy department. “He doesn’t want to make a big deal about it.” Linhart confirmed that Laurent is retiring. He said it will be a big loss for the college. “It’s going to affect the college as a whole,” said Linhart. “Few professors care about as many students as Dr. Bob does. I constantly get students coming into my office saying well I talked to Dr. Bob about this. He has the ability to empathize with students so well. I can’t think of anyone who does all that.” Many students were heartbroken to learn of Dr. Bob’s retirement after this semester, especially some who have never and won’t ever get the opportunity to take one of his classes. “I really wish I could have been able to take one of his classes next year,” said sophomore Lexie King. “I have always heard so many good things about him and everyone that has taken his classes have always enjoyed them. It’s really sad to see him go.” Courtney Cazarez is a senior in one of Dr. Bob’s senior experience classes this semester. She was also sad to hear the news. “I think it'll be hard to see Dr. Bob leave Bethel knowing how many lives he's touched since he's been a professor here,” said Cazarez. “I'm so thankful that I had classes with him because he's such an easy man to talk to and he's so honest with everyone. I like that the most about him. You can tell that his heart is genuinely on fire for Jesus and that's such a great thing to see in someone. I'll miss him when I graduate and I know everyone at Bethel will feel the same way too, but he's still got exciting things ahead of him so that makes me happy.” Senior Krista Patch said, “I first heard Dr. Bob speak at Brown City Camp in Michigan and his style resonated with me immediately, so when I came to Bethel I made sure to take Old Testament with him which was one of the most uplifting classes I have ever taken. It really struck me how even though there were over 100 students in my class he still remembered me after it was over.” Patch went on to say how grateful she was that she was able to take his senior experience class before his time at the school ends. Bethel has not made a formal announcement about Laurent’s retirement. The Beacon will continue its efforts to talk to him about his decision and his future plans.