"Life is made of ever so many partings welded together" (Dickens)
Isn't that a great line from Dickens? It's famous, and for good reason. Partly what's make it great is the man who says it. What a man. He's a blacksmith and big, and very handy with fire. You may not think of a man like that saying something so fancy--Life is made of ever so many partings welded together. It just goes to show how people can surprise you with deep truths about Life that they learn from whatever they do for a living.
Speaking of partings, as many of you know, this is my last year at the helm of Rockefeller College. It's time for someone else to take over. I won't even try to tell how lucky I feel to have had the chance to get to know so many of you over the course of the last ten years.
As you know, I am not a quiet man, and I do not intend to go quietly. They'll be plenty of celebrations, which I'll tell you about over the next few weeks and months. And it's not like I'm going very far. I'll still be a Professor of English here at Princeton. I have no intention of retiring anytime soon. I hope you'll come and visit me. I'm always around at meal time.
Thank you for making the last ten years the brightest years of my life.