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11/27/23 pdf
November 27, 2023

UMass Boston professors run Boston Marathon honoring Krystle Campbell


Four runners for the Run for Kyrstle Team, including professors Paul Dyson and Leonard von Morzé pose for a photo prior to the Boston Marathon. Photo submitted by Professor Leonard von Morzé.

A team of UMass Boston professors recently ran the 127th Boston Marathon Monday, April 17. The professors ran the marathon in honor of UMass Boston alum Krystle Campbell, one of the three victims of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. The team gathered in Campbell’s hometown of Medford on Saturday leading up to the race to meet with the University and recipients of the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund [1, 2].

Since the marathon bombing in 2013, Team Krystle Campbell has raced over 2,000 miles and helped raise over $1.3 million for the scholarship fund in her honor. This year, the runners on Team Krystle Campbell consisted of nine UMass Boston professors and faculty [1]. 

Several different charity organizations make their appearance at the Boston Marathon each year. However, Team Krystle Campbell is the only organization that raises money specifically for scholarships. According to UMass Boston News, the Run For Krystle Team is on track to raise $75,000 for the scholarship fund this year [1, 2].  

Ever since the tragic event, the Boston Marathon has held a more impactful meaning for the university after the loss of Krystle. A new sense of motivation has inspired several professors and faculty members to run the marathon for the past ten years, not just for Krystle but for other impactful reasons.  

The person who established the Krystle Campbell fundraiser was UMass Boston class of 1974 alum Dick Campbell. Campbell resided in the same town as Krystle, and while the two never met nor haany relation to each other, he wanted to give back to Krystle’s family and the UMass Boston community. Campbell spoke to UMass Boston News, stating, “It just hit home: What a horrible thing. Her life was on an upward trajectory, and then it was cut short” [1].

One of the backbones of the Team Krystle Campbell fundraiser is Professor Paul Dyson, a senior lecturer in UMass Boston’s English Department. Professor Dyson is an alum of the University and has been a part of Team Krystle for eight years. Dyson expressed his motivation for fundraising and why the Krystle Campbell scholarship means so much to the University.

I’ve been working at the university since 2007…and I’ve taught several students who have been recipients of the scholarship. I was part of the response to the bombings ten years ago, and I know several police and firefighters who were on Boylston Street when it happened. Joining Team Krystle back in 2015 was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made in my life; it just made immediate sense. 

I’ve always wanted to run a marathon, and this gave me the [opportunity] to do it. I do it as an alum and a faculty memberas a way to give back to and be more involved with our students and the UMass Boston community.” 

Professor Leonard von Morzé described his experience after running his first Boston Marathon alongside Team Krystle Campbell, “I knew I was going to be running the Boston Marathon anyway, so I [figured] why not run it with purpose rather than just for the fun of it? I’ve always wanted to run the Boston MarathonIt’s my first time doing it, but to do it for a cause makes it so much more meaningful.” 

“Whatever we mean by ‘Boston Strong,’ it should mean openness, generosity, and the spirit of welcoming, which to me is everything I heard at the marathon. That’s what’s so incredibly moving about the marathon to me. There’s thousands of volunteers, and there’s a great team of people not just at Run For Krystle`, [but also] at 40 or 50 different charity organizations,” Professor von Morzé added. 

Cameron Hoyt, Assistant Director of New Student and Family Programs, ran the marathon in memory of his late grandfather. Hoyt expressed that his grandfather was one of his biggest inspirations for deciding to run the marathon.  

 “I ran the 2023 Boston Marathon to honor my late grandfather Dick Hoyt. My grandfather started The Hoyt Foundation, a non-profit organization that aspires to build the individual character, self-confidence, and self-esteem of America’s disabled young people through inclusion in all facets of daily life,” Hoyt explained.

“Continuing my family’s longstanding and historic tradition, I chose to run Boston to understand what it took for my grandfather to push my uncle Rick Hoyt, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, through 32 Boston Marathons.

He continued, “I have always been in amazement of the true athleticism it takes to complete a marathon let alone how many my grandfather was able to complete. I think that was definitely one of the hardest things I have done in my life, but I know that my grandfather was watching over saying Yes you can.” 

So far, 32 students have received the Krystle Campbell scholarship award since the first two awards were handed out in 2015. As of this year, the scholarship amount consists of $5,000. A total of eight recipients have been awarded the scholarship this year, and each scholarship recipient is chosen from roughly 80 or more students [1, 2].

Anyone interested in Team Run For Krystle and the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund is encouraged to visit umb.edu/runforkrystle to learn more [1]. 

1. https://www.umb.edu/news/detail/umass_boston_strong

2. https://www.wcvb.com/article/krystle-campbell-boston-marathon-team-scholarship-presentation-medford-massachusetts/43486426#

About the Contributor
Samantha Beady, News Editor