[Editors note: This is an excerpt from Elizabeth Reed’s remarks at her May 27 Retirement Party. She is retiring after 40 years at MIT. Her last day is June 30, 2014. Good luck Elizabeth, we will miss you!]
I am sure you all know Gloria Steinem's most quoted line "This is what 40 looks like." May 14, 2014 was my 40 year anniversary at MIT and this is what 40 looks like to me.
40 years in one organization, one profession (more or less) and at one address look like this: a room filled with many of my dearest friends, de facto siblings and some who are what New Yorker magazine calls “familiar strangers”- people I see regularly at MIT to whom I feel a connection though we may not know each other by name.
This is the community where I've grown up, which has helped me grow, challenged and inspired me, cheered me on and cheered me up, and where I learned how hard and how rewarding it is to build and be a community, an office and a team. Many of you have seen me do things less well than I wanted to and succeed at things I didn’t know I had it in me to do.
Of course MIT has changed a lot since I began. How could it not in 40 years?...