Krystle Campbell remembered through scholarship

By Patrick Hoff

Taylor C. Snow/Daily Collegian
Taylor C. Snow/Daily Collegian

Krystle Campbell was with her friend Karen Rand at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last year. Rand’s boyfriend was running the race and she wanted to get a picture of him as he crossed the finish line. The two were at the finish line when two pressure cooker bombs exploded, killing Campbell and causing Rand to lose her leg.

Campbell was a 29-year-old University of Massachusetts Boston alumna and graduate of Medford High School. In a statement last week, Campbell’s parents Bill and Patty Campbell remembered her as a, “wonderful, smiling and vivacious daughter.”

In her memory, a scholarship fund was set up by UMass Trustee Dick Campbell. Trustee Campbell and Krystle Campbell were unrelated, though Campbell told the Boston Globe that when he learned of her story, he could not help but feel a kinship towards her. Both grew up in Medford and graduated from Medford High School, and both went to UMass Boston.

“Krystle Campbell and I are not related, but she certainly could have been a member of my family, my neighbor or my classmate in Medford,” said Trustee Campbell in a statement. “We share more than just a last name. I felt an immediate kinship because I walked a similar path to the one Krystle was on – working tirelessly to get a good education and achieve her dreams. It’s a dream many of us can relate to, and her journey was so tragically cut short.”

Trustee Campbell initially donated $300,000 to the scholarship fund in June. The fund had been set up about a decade ago by Trustee Campbell and his wife, but after the Boston Marathon bombings, they increased its amount and renamed it for Krystle.

In addition, money is being raised for the scholarship by a team of runners who are participating in this year’s Boston Marathon as part of a team in Krystle Campbell’s memory. Called “Run for Krystle,” the team is comprised of six UMass students from every branch of the UMass system, five UMass alumni and four other teammates, totaling 15 runners. Most of the team members are family members of Trustee Campbell while the rest are students and alum of the UMass community.

Trustee Campbell said that none of Krystle’s family is participating and they have asked for privacy during this time, “something we can all respect.”

The team has currently raised a total of over $48,000. The current fundraising goal is $60,000.

Corinne Ainsworth, the team member from UMass Amherst, has raised $585.

Ainsworth became involved with the team when Student Trustee Megan Kingston, a good friend of Ainsworth’s, asked her to run.

“When Trustee Richard Campbell created a scholarship in honor of Krystle Campbell, … he tasked all of the Student Trustees with finding a student from their campus who would run the Boston Marathon on a team in memory of Krystle,” Ainsworth said, adding, “(Megan) knew I love to run, so she asked me, and I immediately said yes. This was an opportunity I could not pass up.”

Ainsworth said that she is running the marathon for Krystle Campbell, her family and anyone else that was affected by the Boston Marathon bombings, as well as everyone who will benefit from the scholarship.

“I am so proud of my UMass education and so privileged to have had access to it, and am excited that this scholarship will open up similar doors for future students,” she said.

Ainsworth also said that everyone who has helped with the team and the scholarship are helping Krystle’s name and legacy live on and that she is honored to be part of it.

“Running the Boston Marathon is an opportunity of a lifetime, and this year’s marathon will be a particularly moving event given what happened at last year’s marathon,” she said. “The incredible privilege I feel to be a part of a team commemorating Krystle Campbell is what has fueled me during my training and fundraising and will help me complete 26.2 miles on Marathon Monday. I do not think I could have been so dedicated had I not had been running for such an amazing cause.”

In a letter about the scholarship fund, Kingston wrote that she also feels blessed to be part of a scholarship that is increasing pride in the marathon and the UMass system.

The Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund is intended to support the advancement of young women like Campbell who are going into business at any of the UMass campuses. Funds directly donated to UMass Boston will be awarded at the discretion of the dean of UMass Boston’s School of Management, according to Trustee Campbell. Funds directly donated to other campuses will be awarded at the discretion of the respective campus’ chancellor.

To donate to the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund, go to

Zac Bears contributed to this report.

Patrick Hoff can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Hoff_Patrick16.