By Mike Foster
When David Levangie received the 2016 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Dean Marcel Mérette asked him whether there was anything he could do to enhance his experience of receiving the honour. Levangie replied that he would like to take part in the Remembrance Day activities on campus.
And his request was granted. Levangie will speak at the Remembrance Day ceremony, at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, November 11, on the front steps of Tabaret Hall. Later that day, he will talk about his career path at the Faculty’s Deconstructing Success event at 5:30 p.m. in the Social Sciences Building, Room 4004.
“David Levangie is the epitome of an outstanding alumni,” Mérette said. “At such a young age, his contributions to our society are already remarkable. We are proud to recognize someone who continues to enhance the reputation of the Faculty of Social Sciences through his brilliant career and achievements.”
Levangie started out studying criminology and political science at uOttawa while working nights and weekends as an army reservist with 763 Communications Regiment, a unit that meets at the Walkley Road armoury. After his graduation from the University in 2005, Levangie spent six years as a non-commissioned officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, travelling across Canada to provide training in cryptography and in radio and satellite communications.
Levangie went on to study law at Osgoode Hall in Toronto, where he and fellow students launched a non-profit organization that set up distribution networks to bring medicine, such as antibiotics, painkillers and treatments for parasites and water-borne diseases, to developing countries.
Given that he financed his university studies by working as an army reservist, Levangie said he always found the Remembrance Day event at uOttawa very poignant. Now a successful partner at Fogler, Rubinoff LLP in Toronto, he plans to use this platform to call for more resources for veterans.
“Of course, we remember the dead and the sacrifices that have been made, both in wars long gone by and in more recent wars,” he said. “However, one of the things we need to focus on is the soldiers returning home with physical and mental injuries. Post-traumatic stress disorder is very serious and I don’t think it gets enough attention. In Canada, more soldiers have died of suicide than have died in battle in Afghanistan.
“If we are truly going to make Remembrance Day meaningful, we also have to remember the soldiers who have come home and who are injured and need help and resources. We need to remember those soldiers who have committed suicide. They may not have died in battle but they are still casualties of the battlefield.”
After the Remembrance Day ceremony on campus, members of the University community are invited to take part in the ceremony at the National War Memorial. During that event, and from the Peace Tower Carillon on Parliament Hill, they will hear performances of Au Champ d’Honneur, composed by alumna Laura Hawley (BMus ʼ05 and MA ʼ07).