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In Memoriam

We Will Always Remember...

We endeavor to honor and celebrate the lives of the members of the Spelman Community. While this list may not feature all we have lost, we stand together to cherish their memories and celebrate the legacies of everyone who has called Spelman home at one time or another. 

In Memory of Kennedy Preval, C'2023

September 2020

Spelman Remembers Kennedy PrevalSpelman College grieves the loss of one of our young Spelman sisters, Kennedy Noelle Preval, C’2023. We extend our condolences to her mother, Erica Ford Preval, C’98, father, John Preval, her sister, Alana, C’2021, and to all of her family, friends and loved ones.

I attended Kennedy’s memorial tribute at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, where, on behalf of Spelman, I delivered a resolution from the College and Sisters Chapel. Reverend Neichelle Guidry, Ph.D., presided over the celebration of Kennedy’s radiantly joyful life. During the memorial, we each received a tribute book filled with images that very movingly and beautifully capture the warmth and vitality of a young woman who lived life to the fullest. Looking at the pictures of a smiling Kennedy with family, high school and Spelman friends filled my heart with sadness.

Some within the Spelman community knew Kennedy before she became a Spelman student. An avid volleyball player, Gabrielle Morse, C'2022, reminisces on her respectful rivalry with Kennedy when they were members of the Lakeside High School and Chamblee High School volleyball teams.

Start of QuoteOver the years, volleyball has provided me with so many wonderful connections and friendships. Kennedy Preval was one of the people I was able to meet through the sport. I’m very grateful that Lakeside High School and Chamblee High School had a respected rivalry, and I was always so excited to be able to play them," said Morse. "Off the court she was so sweet, always laughing with her teammates and helping my other friends on the Chamblee team stay current on End of Quoteschool drama. I was happy to be able to share a college experience with her as well. I send my deepest condolences to the Preval family and her Spelman sisters."

Even before Kennedy became a Spelman student, she already had such a profound love for the Atlanta University Center community, said Morse. Kennedy’s path to Spelman was forged by the legacy of her mother and older sister, said Dean Guidry.

Our Spelman sister was commended to eternal peace and rest in a small gathering of family and friends," said Dean Guidry of Kennedy’s memorial. "We share in their grief at this time."

Below, we share her obituary. In the days to come, let us recall Kennedy with love and wrap our Spelman arms around Alana and her family with support and deepest sympathy.

With sorrow,

Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.
President, Spelman College

Gone But Never Forgotten

Spelman Remembers Kennedy PrevalAffectionately referred to as "Short Stuff," Kennedy Noelle Preval was born on April 29, 2001, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Erika and John Preval and big sister, Alana. She was a force of light who led her way toward many exciting discoveries, adventures, and life-long friendships. Kennedy’s love for Girl Scouts, volleyball, travel, culinary delights, and the arts provided many avenues for her to enjoy a vibrant life with her family and friends. A graduate of Chamblee Charter High School in May 2019, Kennedy also earned her Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards and completed all levels of Girl Scouting through Ambassadors.

In 2010, Kennedy began her club volleyball career and was the captain of the Chamblee Charter High School Bulldogs girls’ volleyball team, where she played the libero position and received numerous awards for her talents and leadership both on and off the court. She loved her teammates, her coaches, and ripping through her opponents. Kennedy lived her life with passion and enjoyed her favorite color, pink and favorite foods—strawberries, plums, crepes, and steak.

She was an animal lover and vocal about the inhumane treatment of killer whales. She also enjoyed favorite movies like The Dark Knight Rises, all of the Marvel movies, Inception, Titanic, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead, The Way Way Back, and Coraline. Her favorite music artists, Drake, Beyoncé, Chloe x Halle, daBaby, Frank Ocean, Flo Mill, Lana Del Rey, and Lorde were often heard throughout the house. Recently, Kennedy began exploring new hobbies—photography and painting.

As a young woman of the world, Kennedy enjoyed eating good food, traveling, writing, contemplating life’s most pressing issues, seeing friends, and driving with the windows down, bopping her head to good music. She was not a fan of seafood, inequality, and losing volleyball matches—particularly against McIntosh High School, where her team lost two years in a row, preventing a State championship.

Kennedy worked hard and fulfilled her dream to follow in her mother and sister’s footsteps toward Spelman College, where she became a Spelman Woman and completed her first year, majoring in psychology.

Spelmanite Kennedy Preval DiesKennedy departed this earth suddenly on the morning of September 1, 2020, in Atlanta, and is survived by her parents, John Preval and Erika Ford Preval of Atlanta, GA; sister Alana Renee Preval of Atlanta, GA; paternal grandparents, Therese and Mercidieu Preval; maternal grandparents, Earnest Ford and Virginia Ford Barner; aunt, Victoria Ford; uncles Marc Preval (Falicia) and McDonald Preval (Gekeima).

In lieu of flowers, the family of Kennedy Preval invites you to honor her legacy with a contribution to Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. Please visit Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, select "make a one-time annual fund donation" and then check the box for "tribute gift" to make a gift in her memory. Thank you.