Commerce Grad is the ‘Heart & Soul of the Queen’s Community in Montreal’

Monica Dingle

“She is the heart and soul of the Queen’s community in Montreal” is used a lot when talking about Monica Dingle, Com’02. It’s more than that – there wouldn’t be much of a Queen’s community in Montreal today if it wasn’t for Ms. Dingle.

In 2010, the Ottawa native graduated from law school and started practising corporate law at the Montreal office of Fasken Martineau. She wanted to meet new people and network, so she reached out to Queen’s Alumni Relations department and asked to be put in touch with the Montreal Alumni Branch president. The position was vacant, so she decided to step up and help relaunch the Branch.

“I just thought, ‘Why not?’ I have always volunteered in other capacities in my life and had experience with planning events. I thought that reviving the Montreal Queen’s Alumni Branch would be a great way to meet people,” says Ms. Dingle, who spent six years as Branch president before stepping down in 2016. “I feel fortunate that I went to Queen’s and I had an amazing experience there. I know many grads feel this way too. Giving my time is a natural way of contributing to my university.”

Her dedication to the Montreal Branch is the reason Ms. Dingle is receiving the Marsha Lampman Branch Volunteer Award from the Queen's University Alumni Association. It is presented annually to the alumnus/alumna who best exemplifies outstanding dedication and service to a QUAA branch.

“Monica revived and grew the alumni community in Montreal,” says current Montreal Branch president Arlette Boghoskhan, MIR’14. “She was able to reach out and connect with graduates who had never previously attended any Queen’s alumni functions.”

At first, Ms. Dingle hosted simple and free events such as after-work socials. She jokes about twisting arms of her old friends to make sure the events had a good number of attendees. Over the years, the Branch grew and more events were added – a tour of an art gallery (owned by an alumnus), networking events for older alumni, pub nights for younger alumni, and cheering on the Gaels when they came to town to play McGill University.

As attendance grew, the Branch became more organized. She established a Branch Executive Committee so there is now a team of people to plan and run events. Her efforts were reinforced by Roger Casgrain, Com’80, and Collette Charest, Sc’82, who provided significant support to the Branch by sponsoring events. 

“I don’t have to twist arms anymore to make sure we get enough people to come out to our events,” says Ms. Dingle, who puts her Queen’s commerce and University of Montreal law degrees to use as an in-house legal counsel at Lumenpulse, a Montreal-based company that designs and manufactures LED lighting solutions. “There is now once again a strong sense of community that draws people to the Branch events on their own.”

One of Ms. Dingle’s proudest accomplishments was relaunching the John Stirling Montreal Medal in 2013. The award was first given out in 1939 and honours outstanding alumni in the Montreal community.

The 2013 Stirling Award reception was the first time Ms. Dingle and the Branch hosted a large formal dinner. Principal Daniel Woolf and several other Queen’s representatives attended the event. Many of the school’s traditions were incorporated into the evening, such as singing the Oil Thigh and a piper welcoming attendees at the entrance.

“There was a really great turnout and the event was a strong display of the Queen’s spirit we have here in Montreal,” says Ms. Dingle, a former member of the Queen’s sailing team.

Ms. Dingle will be officially honoured at the QUAA Gala Dinner on April 8.

If you know of a Queen’s alumna/us who is a tireless volunteer, consider nominating them for the Marsha Lampman Branch Volunteer Award. Nominations are now open.