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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston professor Paul Dyson runs Boston Marathon in honor of Krystle Campbell

Several members of Team Krystle Campbell pose for a photo before the 2024 Boston Marathon. Photo submitted by Professor Paul Dyson.

Remembering a tragedy: Patriots Day, April 15, 2024. That date marks the 11-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. Krystle Campbell, a UMass Boston alum, was one of six victims of the attack back in 2013. Paul Dyson, a professor at UMass Boston, and Team Krystle Campbell ran the marathon this year in her memory.

Team Krystle runs not only in her honor, but to gather support and raise money for the UMass Boston Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund that was first awarded in 2015. The fund has grown immensely since it’s been introduced, going from two scholarships given out each year to as many as eight.

Paul Dyson, a senior lecturer in the English department, says the current endowment tops “over $1,300,000.” Dyson says, “being part of that growth has been an absolute joy.”

“Team Krystle and the scholarship fund are examples of (UMass Boston) people helping (UMass Boston) people,” said Dyson.

Dyson and Team Krystle demonstrated that winning the race is not everybody’s motivation.

“Running with a purpose, running for a cause, is a very powerful motivator, more powerful a motivator for me than any desire for pace, finish time or placing,” said Dyson. This team shares the fact that they are not running for themselves, but something larger than that: their community.

Dyson believes, “The only good in this world is helping others.” He sees so much of that in this annual event, from people who “ran in the direction of danger rather than away from it” in 2013, to now a scholarship fund helping students financially while remembering one of our own. Dyson thinks the best thing to do is to “do good things in her name,” referring to Krystle.

Dyson mentioned a quote of Fred Rogers’ mother—Rogers was the star of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood: “Look for the helpers. There’s always someone who is trying to help.” It’s not just Dyson; people all around the community are coming to help.

They join together to help each other at the marathon, including “first responders who keep us safe on the course; BAA volunteers who present us with our medals or hand out water at each mile; friends who cheer us on; the runners themselves who run with heart and grit for the causes they love,” says Dyson.

“Boston Strong” can mean so much, and anything, to anyone. But Dyson describes it as, “love—deep, thoughtful, abiding love, love for (your) neighbor and for community.”

The Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund assists students who are in need of financial assistance.

“The students selected stand out among their peers for their exceptional grades, volunteer work, involvement in the university and community, and all around excellence in academics,” said the UMass Boston website.

Thanks to the love and support shown by so many, the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund will continue to grow to help many others, and make sure Krystle is never forgotten. Those interested in helping the fund in future years can do so by visiting the UMass Boston website, providing detail on how to support the fund in any way.