Valerie Boasten, 2017
- Creation: 2017
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
MS. 12467 digital 2
Biographical / Historical
Valerie Boasten joined the Dunn School in 1983 as the personal assistant to the head of department, Professor Henry Harris, having previously been PA to the Director of Social Services for Oxfordshire County Council. Succeeding the formidable Mrs Finch-Mason, known for rigorously controlling access to the head of department, she adopted an alternative approach of quiet indispensability.
On Harris's retirement in 1994 she continued as PA to the new head of department, Herman Waldmann. After her retirement from this role she became part-time administrator for the EPA Cephalosporin Fund, the EPA Research Fund and the Guy Newton Research Fund, trusts established by Sir Edward Abraham to receive the royalties on the antibiotic cephalosporin.
Boasten retired from the Funds in 2013. Having a wide interest in University affairs, she was appointed to a ceremonial position as Oxford's first-ever female Bedel in 1998, and was promoted to Senior Bedel, Bedel of Divinity, in 2003. She retired from this role in September 2015 and was awarded an Honorary MA by the University that year.