The Maroon

New memorial creates an open dialogue about mental health

Jessica+White+helps+open+The+Kendall+Collective+event.+The+Kendall+Collective+was+a+memorial+designed+by+the+Social+Political+design+class+to+remember+the+life+of+Kendall+Daigle%2C+a+Loyola+student+who+passed+away+March+2014.+Photo+credit%3A+Paulina+Picciano
Jessica White helps open The Kendall Collective event. The Kendall Collective was a memorial designed by the Social Political design class to remember the life of Kendall Daigle, a Loyola student who passed away March 2014. Photo credit: Paulina Picciano

Jessica White helps open The Kendall Collective event. The Kendall Collective was a memorial designed by the Social Political design class to remember the life of Kendall Daigle, a Loyola student who passed away March 2014. Photo credit: Paulina Picciano

Jessica White helps open The Kendall Collective event. The Kendall Collective was a memorial designed by the Social Political design class to remember the life of Kendall Daigle, a Loyola student who passed away March 2014. Photo credit: Paulina Picciano

Paulina Picciano

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The Social Political Design class unveiled The Kendall Collective, a memorial to the late Kendall Michelle Daigle.

Kendall Daigle was an English writing student who passed away March 2014 from a heroin overdose, and her memorial aims to create an open dialogue about mental health and drug addiction.

The memorial was put up April 18. It sits in the green space in front of Monroe Hall and is a newly planted Japanese magnolia tree that will soon grow bright pink petals, representing Kendall Daigle’s pink hair, surrounded by a bench with a lending library. The library contains copies of Kendall’s book, published posthumously by her family, and books chosen by the memorial’s student designers.

The event featured an interactive portrait of Kendall Daigle, a table giving away her book and reflection journals, and open mic readings to honor Kendall Daigle’s love of writing. The design class also handed out a series of postcards with prompts that encouraged people to write their struggles anonymously or make other comments on mental health.

Jessica White, design junior and one of The Kendall Collective’s creators, said that she hopes the memorial will encourage people to share with and help others.

“It’s important because most people struggle from some type of struggle. We suppress our feelings a lot. We wanted to create an environment where you can talk about that,” White said.

It was important to both the designers and Kendall Daigle’s parents, who commissioned the memorial, not to shy away from the way Kendall had died but to create awareness for the issue instead. Part of the goal of the memorial was to create a space that challenged the stigma around mental health among students and encouraged discussions.

“The idea of the memorial was to kind of create a safe space,” Savana Jonau, design junior and one of the creators of the memorial, said.

Jonau painted a portrait of Kendall Daigle that served as a centerpiece for the event.

Kendall Daigle’s mom, Michelle Daigle, regularly visits campus and commented on the significance of having the memorial at Loyola.

“Now that they have this live memorial, it just means so much to me that people can reflect,” Michelle Daigle said. “Even though they don’t know Kendall, it’s kind of like her memory can continue on, and plus it’s really nice for me to have a place to sit and reflect and connect with her.”

The Daigles have ensured that Kendall’s life and legacy will live on at Loyola. In addition to a physical memorial that students can visit, they have also created an endowment with the English department that will help fund programs like the New Orleans Review and study abroad opportunities. As of now, the endowment is set at $100,000, but they are hoping to grow that number in the future.

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The Kendall Collective memorial is a newly planted Japanese magnolia tree that will soon grow bright pink petals, representing Kendall’s pink hair, surrounded by a bench with a lending library. The memorial was designed by the Social Political design class to remember the life of Kendall Daigle, a Loyola student who passed away March 2014. Photo credit: Paulina Picciano

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In addition to the unveiling of the memorial, an interactive portrait of Kendall Daigle and a display of postcards served as centerpieces of The Kendall Collective event. The Kendall Collective was a memorial designed by the Social Political design class to remember the life of Kendall Daigle, a Loyola student who passed away March 2014. Photo credit: Paulina Picciano

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A student who helped design The Kendall Collective explains the items being given away at a display table. The Kendall Collective was a memorial designed by the Social Political design class to remember the life of Kendall Daigle, a Loyola student who passed away March 2014. Photo credit: Paulina Picciano

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About the Writer
Paulina Picciano, Managing Editor for Print

Paulina is a Classical Studies senior with a concentration in Greek language. When she's not working on translations or learning about ancient cultures,...

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New memorial creates an open dialogue about mental health