Recently, my husband and I attended a retirement celebration for several members of the Cheyney University community. Most of the retirees were faculty who had, during their long years of service, shared their specialized knowledge, their valuable time, and their hopes for a better future with thousands of students. Some of the faculty members who were retiring had taught students and mentored other faculty at Cheyney University for 40 years and more.
Retirees who worked tirelessly on staff have also contributed much to the University community by performing their daily tasks with professionalism and excellence in customer service. From the beginning of the retirement dinner, the mood was both celebratory and warm. It was easy to discern that the bonds that held this diverse community together were those of mutual respect, shared commitment to the University’s mission of access, opportunity, and excellence — and those of kinship and friendship.
After dinner there were congratulatory comments and well-wishes made by the Director of Human Resources, the Provost, and the Dean. While the remarks were witty, well-intended, and often humorous, the comments of the departing retirees were the most heart-filled and heartfelt. Many of the faculty, both retirees and others, approached the podium to make remarks, and during these remarks became overcome with emotion– as they recalled the camaraderie, mentoring, friendships, and challenges they faced together.
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