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Cal Poly celebrates the life of Kennedy Love

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Friends and family celebrate the life of Kennedy Love during Cal Poly’s memorial on September 18th. 
Photos by  Marvin Cantorna/Cuestonian


By Rachel Barnes
News Editor

The University Union Plaza was packed Monday for a memorial for Kennedy Love, the Cal Poly student who died when he was struck by a vehicle allegedly driven by a Cuesta student.

The family of Love, along with more than 100 Cal Poly students and faculty, gathered to speak about their memories and to celebrate his life.

Kennedy Love's mother embraces a friend with hug.
Kennedy Love’s mother embraces a hug.

“We’re focusing on being grateful for the wonderful 22 years we had of his life,” his mother, Dorthanna Love, said through tears.

Love, a fourth-year landscape architecture student, was riding his bicycle down Foothill Boulevard on Aug. 29 when the suspect, a 17-year-old Cuesta student, allegedly struck him with her car before fleeing the scene, San Luis Obispo police said.

A readiness conference is scheduled for Sept. 26 and the hearing where the judge will rule whether the minor should be tried as an adult will take place on Oct. 10. At that time evidence may be presented in the forms of prior juvenile record, rehabilitation potential and the alleged facts of the case, according to the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office.  

At the memorial, many spoke of Love’s dedication to his faith. Students and faculty mentioned how his belief inspired them to become more invested in their faith as well.

“I know, even in that night he would have extended God’s love to that individual,” said Love’s father, Alfred Love.  

The crowd linked hands to comfort each other through mournful tears. Friends and roommates of Love’s embraced his family after the ceremony.

“The hardest thing about losing Kennedy is not having Kennedy to talk to about it,” said Sarina Shames, a close friend of Love’s.

Many people came before the audience to speak about their fond memories. Close friends and members of Cal Poly staff told stories of their experiences with him.

“We are all grief stricken, but we cannot be debilitated by it,” said Omar Faruque, chair of the landscape architecture department.

Cal Poly president Jeffrey Armstrong said the university will be “remembering Kennedy with his degree” during June commencement. He also noted that two alumni of Cal Poly’s landscape architecture program have donated money to the school specifically on behalf of Love. Due to the generous donations, Armstrong announced that there will be a scholarship in Love’s name.

“Two hundred years from now people will remember Kennedy’s name,” Armstrong said.

Friends of Kennedy sharing personal stories.
Photo courtesy of Love family