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Mary Fraser Hay, BA

Mary Fraser Hay (Mrs Mary Ward), former administrative officer in the Office of the Registrar, died on 14 November 2010. 

Having attended the Ursuline Convent School in Chester and St John’s College of Further Education, Manchester, Mary came to Leeds as a student in 1966 and graduated in Sociology in 1969.  Poised, articulate and sophisticated (qualities that never left her), Mary was extensively involved in student life within the department.  Shortly after graduating, she was appointed to a post in the Nuffield Centre for Health Services Studies.  Here, in the course of only fifteen months, she acquired experience of a diverse range of administrative activities, including assisting in a major reorganisation of the Centre’s Library and planning the refurbishment of accommodation.  She greatly impressed her senior colleagues with her keen intelligence, adaptability and resourcefulness, as well as her ability to establish good relations with both colleagues and visitors to the Centre.

It was perhaps not surprising, therefore, that, in March 1971, Mary should have been chosen from some ninety applicants for appointment to an administrative post in the Office of the Registrar.  Over the next twenty years, her organisational skills were to be deployed to good effect, initially in the Higher Degrees Office and later (1977-1985), in the Collegiate Office, which was responsible for all aspects of the University’s relations with its Affiliated Colleges.  In 1985, Mary moved to the Public Lectures and Hospitality Office, where her responsibilities included the organisation of a varied programme of public lectures, a process which brought her into frequent contact with colleagues throughout the University and the city more widely.  In addition, she provided support for other major functions organised by the office, including VIP visits and inaugural lectures.  For an extended period, Mary also for serviced the group responsible for co-ordinating the activities of the Regional Canadian Study Centre.

Mary left the University in 1991 and later worked with the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

In 1982, Mary married Nigel Ward, a solicitor whom she had known for several years not least through a mutual interest in horses and carriage driving.  She and Nigel moved to a farm on the outskirts of Howarth with sufficient acres to content their equine companions.

The funeral service has been held.  In memory of Mary, the flag was flown at half-mast on the Parkinson Building on the day of the funeral.

J R GAIR