Skip to main content
Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Ontario Tech mourns the loss of Helen Vari, honorary doctorate recipient and university supporter

The Ontario Tech University community is mourning the loss of Helen Vari, a 2015 honorary doctorate recipient, donor and friend

Mrs. Helen Vari upon receiving her honorary doctorate degree from Ontario Tech University in 2015.
Mrs. Helen Vari upon receiving her honorary doctorate degree from Ontario Tech University in 2015.

Helen and her late husband George established the George and Helen Vari Foundation in 1984. Together, they created an outstanding record of philanthropic activity with a strong focus on supporting higher education. A longtime donor to Ontario Tech, the Foundation has given a total of $350,000 to the university in support of scholarships, bursaries and the university’s newest building Shawenjigewining Hall.

In 2015, in recognition of her philanthropic and volunteer contributions to Canada, Ontario Tech was proud to confer upon Helen the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. In her address, she accepted the honour in memory of her husband, saying, “George's philosophy was that you can save our troubled world only with education.”

Helen demonstrated her shared belief in education in 2016 when she established the Honourable George Vari Bursaries and Scholarships in her husband’s memory at Ontario Tech. Since then, numerous undergraduate and graduate Engineering students have benefited from her generosity and her gift will continue to support Ontario Tech students in perpetuity.

Whenever Helen addressed guests at formal or informal events where Ontario Tech students were present, she always ended her acknowledgements warmly with, “most importantly, my dear students.”

“On behalf of Ontario Tech, I express our deepest condolences to Helen’s family and her many friends. She, and her husband, changed lives, and their compassion and generosity will forever live on in the students they support.”

--Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ontario Tech University