At 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, more than seventy people gathered to say thank you to me for my thirty-three years of service to the institution that I loved. It was the fastest and most magical two hours I’ve had since I saw “The Lion King” in 1991.
Like many women who grew up in the 50’s, I’m not very self-confident. So although I gave my best for all my years at Harvard, I was never sure it was good enough. Until last night. The current dean and two former deans of the school spoke about my contributions. (I know how hard it is to get a word with them, let alone a speech from them.)
Professors spoke. My latest boss read a two-page tribute from my former boss. People came from around the University. It sounded like the school would not survive without me. (So far, two weeks without me, it seems to be doing just fine.)
There was food and wine and a book filled with letters and good wishes.
My highest priority was not to cry. And although I stuffed Peter’s shirt pocket with tissues just in case, I didn’t use a single one. Best of all, with the professor of my communications class in the room, I gave a five-minute extemporaneous speech using all the things he taught me in the first three classes! People laughed and cheered.
I’m really done now, but it was a great finale.