UMass Boston

UMass Boston Professor Prepares Solo ‘Run For Krystle’

04/13/2020| Elis Mullins

Every year, the Run for Krystle Team runs the Boston Marathon to celebrate the legacy of Krystle Campbell, the alumna from Medford who was killed in the 2013 Boston bombing, and raise money for a scholarship in her name. This year, due to concerns about the coronavirus, the marathon has been postponed from Patriots’ Day until September 14. The 2020 team will run together this fall, but one member has decided to complete an additional solo “Run for Krystle” on April 20: Paul Dyson.

Paul Dyson in the midst of a run
Lecturer in English and Run for Krystle runner Paul Dyson '00 took part in a 30K last month.

“ I don’t want to wait until September to do what I know is the right thing for me to do. ”

Dyson ’00, who graduated with a BA in English from UMass Boston and is now a lecturer in the English Department, decided to run 26.2 miles around his neighborhood to commemorate Campbell’s loss. This will be his fifth consecutive Run for Krystle. 

“Team Krystle runs in honor of a UMass Boston student we lost on Marathon Monday, on Patriots’ Day,” Dyson said. “I don’t want to wait until September to do what I know is the right thing for me to do.” 

“It is so moving to know that Professor Dyson is pounding the pavement for this worthy cause,” marveled Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman. “His dedication to the cause of honoring her memory tells you everything you need to know about this remarkable member of the UMass Boston faculty and speaks volumes about the wonderful young woman that Krystle was. Students who win scholarships in her name are the best of the best.”

In order to prepare for both marathons, Dyson has been working with the Marathon Coalition, a group of charities coached by a professional with a marathon personal record around 2 hours and 20 minutes. Every week, he’s been given a training program, usually four days a week, with a long run on Saturday. Most weeks, he’s run between 25 and 35 miles with a maximum of 50. He’s kept to that schedule even under the cloud of COVID-19. 

“I did not know Krystle, but colleagues of mine had her in class. Everyone who knew her talks about how smart and kind she was,” Dyson said. “As an alumnus and a faculty member, I feel a particularly strong kinship to her. I'm obviously biased, but I believe our students are the most diligent, passionate, intelligent students around, and I know that Krystle was no exception.”

The Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund was founded in June 2013 by former UMass Trustee Richard Campbell ’70, H’14 and his late wife, Barbara, both of whom are of no relation to Krystle. The fund supports College of Management students pursuing business degrees, and scholarships are based on academic performance, financial need, volunteer work, and involvement in the university and community.

Due to the pandemic’s financial effects, Dyson has been fundraising at a slower pace.

“I don't feel right asking for money when people I know personally are out of work, filing for unemployment, trying to figure out how they're going to get through this,” Dyson said. “I am not actively seeking support but, if anyone reads this and is in a position to donate, I'd be beyond grateful.” 

His fundraising page has already surpassed $2,500, and he looks forward to raising more through raffles and events as circumstances return to normal, as well as joining his team on the Boston Marathon starting line in the fall. 

“When I turn onto Boylston Street each year, I think about Krystle and, tired and miserable as I am, I straighten up, smile, and finish as strong as I can,” Dyson said. “Raising money for the scholarship fund and running my best race as part of an absolutely amazing team is the best way I can think to honor Krystle's legacy.”  

About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 10 colleges and graduate schools serve 16,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit