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Ontario Tech University celebrates the transformational philanthropy of Mitch and Leslie Frazer

$3-million gift agreement establishes the Centre for Digital Innovation in Education

Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education celebration at Ontario Tech University's Charles Hall (March 18, 2024).
Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education celebration at Ontario Tech University's Charles Hall (March 18, 2024).

Education has the power to change lives—an unwavering philosophy passionately embraced by Mitch and Leslie Frazer that comes from a very personal place. Growing up with modest beginnings, Ontario Tech University Chancellor Mitch Frazer, a distinguished lawyer and Managing Partner of the Toronto office of Mintz LLP, became the first in his family to pursue a university education. In contrast, Chancellor Frazer’s wife Leslie was raised in a household where attending university was always discussed; Leslie, her parents and her siblings all obtained university degrees. Together, drawing from their varied perspectives, Mitch and Leslie Frazer believe education needs to evolve, and that in today’s digital age, innovation in education is vital to support all types of learning and learners.

The Frazer family’s personal experiences with higher education, and the significant impact education can have on young lives, played a pivotal role in their decision to support technological and social advancements in teaching and learning at Ontario Tech. Their passion for championing digitally progressive and inclusive education was mobilized when the Frazers formalized a landmark $3 million gift agreement with the university, establishing the Centre for Digital Innovation in Education. Serving as a hub for research, collaboration and outreach activities, the Centre will develop strategies and initiatives to enhance equitable education, promote digital wellness and foster innovation in education.

While Ontario Tech continues to commemorate its 20th-anniversary, the university held a milestone event on March 18 to recognize the remarkable contributions of the Frazers. The special occasion celebrated the naming and official signage unveiling of the Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education. In recognition of the Frazers’ transformational gift agreement, the Faculty of Education was renamed the Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education in September 2023. As one of only two donor-named faculties of education at Ontario universities and the third in Canada, the Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education became the first donor-named faculty at Ontario Tech.

In addition to the Frazer family’s support, Mitch Frazer's role as the university's fourth Chancellor and his ongoing dedication to student success were highlighted during the celebration. His advocacy for accessible education has resonated with the Ontario Tech community, motivating others to make a difference in the lives of students. Often affectionately referred to as the ‘Students’ Chancellor’, Mitch Frazer has earned this title through his ongoing leadership, generosity and connection to students and alumni. His establishment of the annual Chancellor’s Challenge, a legacy to inspire a community of giving, further underscores this well-deserved moniker.

The Frazers’ historic gift agreement brings their vision of an educational evolution featuring digitally innovative teaching and learning, one step closer to realization. With its new name prominently displayed outside the faculty’s home at Ontario Tech’s Charles Hall, the Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education continues to build on its legacy of world-class teaching and research and also serves as an enduring symbol of the transformational power of philanthropy.


“I strongly believe that education holds the tremendous power to transform lives, and understand the significance of this impact firsthand. I am honoured to have our names forever connected to the Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education. As proud champions of Ontario Tech, and of technological and social innovation in education, Leslie and I are committed to student success and ensuring future generations have access to digitally innovative and inclusive learning opportunities. We hope this gift agreement inspires our children, as well as all young students, to be active participants in their life journey.
-Mitch Frazer, Chancellor, Ontario Tech University

"With the Frazers’ remarkable support, the Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education is poised to lead the way in educational innovation, while helping shape the next generation of leaders and educators who will drive positive change. Through intensive research and inquiry, the Centre for Digital Innovation in Education will make a tangible impact by exploring how technology-enhanced learning strategies can be leveraged to improve educational outcomes and address pressing societal challenges."
-Dr. Robin Kay, Dean, Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education 

"As the first donor-named faculty at Ontario Tech, this celebration marks a historic moment in our university's 20-year journey. I am proud to commemorate this important milestone together. We are extremely grateful for the Frazer family’s philanthropic leadership, which is enabling Ontario Tech to guide the future of teaching and learning by developing initiatives that empower students and educators to succeed in a tech-focused world."
-Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ontario Tech University


About Ontario Tech University: Celebrating 20 years
A modern, forward-thinking university, Ontario Tech advances the discovery and application of knowledge to accelerate economic growth, regional development and social innovation. We inspire and equip our students and our graduates to make a positive impact in a tech-focused world. For us, it’s not only about developing the next tech breakthrough. Understanding and integrating the social and ethical implications of technology differentiates us as university. Learn more at