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Recognition Guidelines for Separating Employees

When a full-time faculty or staff member separates from Virginia Tech, it is important that they are appropriately recognized, and that such recognition is handled consistently throughout the university. 

  • The supervisor/manager should discuss with the employee if they prefer acknowledgement of the departure or retirement.
  • The home department should cover the cost of the event, subject to prior budget approval by a senior leadership team member and available funding.

Following are some suggested ways to recognize employees in the event of a resignation or retirement. 


Years of Service

Going Away Recognition

1 to 9 years

“Dutch treat” lunch (home department will pay for departing employee only); supervisor determines appropriate invitation list. Recommended cost: Lunch $15*.

10+ years

Cake and punch reception. Recommended budget: $150*.

*Be aware of the tax implications on gifts.




1 to 9 years

Cake and punch reception. Recommended budget: $150*.

10 to 35+ years

Hors d’oeuvre reception. Recommended budget: $1,000*, 50 - 75 attendees.

*Be aware of the tax implications on gifts.

For retirees, the supervisor might consider selecting a Virginia Tech photo to have framed and presented with a card at the retirement event. The cost will be covered by the home department.

The Division of Human Resources provides a certificate for the retiree.  

Other Recommendations:

  • Print out a certificate for the employee to thank them for their service.
  • Departments/Colleges may opt to receive donations from employees who would like to participate in the separating employee’s recognition event to cover associated costs.
  • Social potluck lunch or meet at a restaurant.

Additional Resources to help the “farewell” go smoothly

How to handle employee farewells least awkwardly