If you have ever had a class in Old Main at Washington & Jefferson College, chances are you have probably encountered Robert Dodge or Robert Vande Kappelle. However, students like me will not have the chance to learn from these great professors after this spring, for they both are retiring.
Dodge has been a staple for the history department for more than 40 years and is the authority around the college on the European Union. I had the pleasure of taking a class on Europe after World War II with him, and can say I gained more knowledge and insight about history from that class than any combination of classes I had previously taken. History at W&J will surely not be the same without him.
The second Robert, Vande Kappelle, has been with the religious studies department for more than 30 years. I had the pleasure of taking a class on the New Testament with him. He inspired me not only to become a more devoted Christian, but also to really take the study of the Bible and religion seriously, while also studying beliefs of other traditions. He is someone who truly cares about students at the college and really values education.
Washington & Jefferson College will truly miss “two pillars” who are such a great part of the institution. As a student, I am sad to see them go, but glad to have had the opportunity to be educated by them.
Gatten is a junior at Washington & Jefferson College.