Leslie Miscampbell Frost
The Hon. Leslie Miscampbell Frost (1895 - 1973)
P.C., Q.C., LL.D., D.C.L.
First Chancellor (1967 to 1973)
Trent University’s first chancellor, the late Leslie M. Frost, was a true statesman who served his province and his country well. Born in Orillia, and educated both in Orillia and Toronto, he was called to the bar in 1933 and established a law practice in Lindsay. He had a long and successful political career that began with his election to the Ontario Legislature in 1937. He served as Provincial Treasurer and Minister of Mines until he was chosen as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party in 1949. He was the longest-serving Premier of Ontario from 1949 until 1961.
Leslie Frost was the father of the modern Ontario university system. When he assumed public office in 1937, there were only five recognized degree-granting universities in Ontario, but by the time he retired in 1961 there were sixteen. While Premier of Ontario he initiated government support of the Ontario series of the Champlain Society publications. He encouraged the preservation of historical records and sites throughout Ontario. Trent was fortunate indeed to have such a prominent and talented individual as its first chancellor.
Mr. Frost was a veteran of the first World War, having served overseas as an officer in the Simcoe Foresters, and he was an honorary bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada. After his retirement, he spent much of his time doing historical research. He was the author of several books on military history, including Fighting Men, and The Records on Sir Sam Hughes Set Straight, and the histories of Peterborough, Victoria and Haliburton Counties. He died in May 1973 at the age of 77.
Trent recognized the vision of Leslie Frost through the name chosen in 1982 for one of its Graduate and Research Centres, the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies. The Frost Centre is located at Traill College in downtown Peterborough.