Respected Principal, dignitaries on the dais, distinguished guests, members of faculty, non-teaching staff and students,
In this beautiful season of Christmas, where all hearts are filled with hope and joy; I stand here with mixed emotions. On the one side there is a sense of sadness that our Principal is leaving us. On the other hand there is this awesome responsibility I face that of stepping into her shoes. Both the leaving and the taking make this a moment a difficult one indeed.
At this time I recall the poem by P. B. Shelley titled Ozymandias. It talks about a king who made monuments and statues of himself. But as years passed by they were all destroyed and buried in the vast endless desert sands.
Unlike this king some others leave their legacy in the hearts of people which is never destroyed. Such a person has been our Principal. She has scripted love and enduring respect in the hearts of all those who came in touch with her. Unlike buried monuments of stone what she has authored in our hearts will live on.
And as spoken in a famous movie*,
“Look around you. There is not a life in this room that you have not touched, and each one of us is a better person because of you.”
Yes, one of the greatest lessons you have shown us is that you cared for all of us. Therefore you earned the trust and respect of all who came into contact with you.
The respect you showed to each one of us, your willingness and eagerness to involve us in taking major decisions are things that will be remembered. You were dedicated to your task, sincere to the core, simple in life, able to remain calm under pressure, and never yielding to anger.
You were not only able to improve results in all courses but also created a stress-free learning environment for students. You tried your best to improve the quality of faculty and encouraged their development through education and research.
Your student-friendly approach and your understanding of the background of each student showing extra concern for those having problems—both academic and personal—will be lovingly remembered for a long time to come. Your systematic approach to things and your emphasis on punctuality made working with you a pleasant experience.
With all my heart and with the blessings of all present here I wish you a contented and joyous retired life. May you find useful ways to engage yourself in the service of God and men in the days to come. I also request you to kindly accept the gift that we are giving as a mark of gratitude for all that you’ve done for our Institution.
Now let me highlight the area of my focus as the baton is being handed over to me today. I take up this huge responsibility of being the Principal of this great Institution with humble trust in God and the prayer that he will keep me faithful in all that I have been entrusted to do.
My utmost priority and effort will be to create a Campus here which will be admired for its academic excellence, co-curricular pursuits and discipline that will be a model for many other Institutions of this kind.
I seek your cooperation in this regard. I thank all of you and the Management especially for your faith in me and entrusting me with this great responsibility.
As you have extended your kind support in the past, continue the same with greater eagerness and enthusiasm. Together we can build upon the great legacy our dear Principal is leaving behind. Thank you.
Sample Speech of Response at College Farewell Meeting