Well, the advantage of having a long, long goodbye has been that I have had a heap of Sally Field Oscar moments. Yes, I am just as/more insecure than the average academic that feels like an imposter. Given the slings and arrows received over the past four years or so, the year's long farewell has been a big boost.
It started with the comments on my announcement. It was reinforced by the gifts I received from the Pol Sci undergrad student association. I then had a great beer and dinner with the McG poli sci staff. I had a nice beer with my fellow associate professors and then another great beer swilling with a few of the last McG students I know well. And most recently, my teammates threw me a surprise ultimate pickup game.* I have been very moved, very touched by the experience. I will miss these great people and am forever thankful that "social media" (that would be Facebook, Twitter and the rest) will allow me to keep in touch with these folks.
There are two obvious ways to get recognized: die and be eulogizied or leave and be feted on the way out. Thus far, I prefer the latter. Thanks again.
* My daughter's friends pulled a similar trick on her--turning an ordinary outing into going away festivities.