Couric described her emotions during her final appearance on the Peacock Network after 15 years with "Today," as "happy, sad and completely out of control," People magazine reported.
She is leaving to take over the anchor duties for the "CBS Evening News" and will be replaced in the fall by Meredith Vieira, who is vacating her seat on ABC's "The View" for "Today."
Couric's longtime "Today" partner, Matt Lauer, started out Wednesday's three-hour tribute with the words: "Farewell friend."
"Dateline's" Stone Phillips serenaded her at the piano and weatherman Al Roker teared up during tributes to Couric's late husband and sister, who both died of cancer.
Couric's own farewell was not without emotion as she noted, "They're not just coworkers. They're lifelong friends."
"And I know I'll never have a partner like you," she told Lauer, "because I'll never be working with a partner again."