Chancellor J. Keith Motley presented two UMass Boston students with Krystle Campbell Scholarships at an event Saturday in Medford celebrating Campbell’s legacy and the Boston Marathon team that runs in her name.
Eden Blakeley ‘18, of Dorchester, and Leona Smith ‘17, of Revere, each received $5,000 scholarships to pursue their management degrees.
"These are two shining examples of what the impact of Krystle’s life continues to be," Motley said.
Medford Mayor Stephanie Burke, Krystle’s father Bill Campbell, and members of this year’s Run for Krystle Marathon Team were on hand for the celebration, which was held steps away from the Krystle Campbell Peace Garden. Campbell, a victim of the 2013 marathon bombings, attended UMass Boston from 2005 to 2007 and received a degree posthumously.
“This scholarship has brought me one step closer to following my dreams,” Smith said.
Before the event, the marathon team ran through Medford, stopping for a moment outside the Campbell house in tribute. Team members were greeted with hugs by Bill Campbell as they arrived at the event.
“I’m really so proud,” Bill Campbell said. “I miss her so much.”
The marathon team runs the Boston Marathon every year to raise money for the scholarship fund established in Krystle’s memory. Since 2014, UMass Boston has awarded two Krystle Campbell Scholarships every year to female students pursuing business degrees. The scholarship was started by former UMass Trustee Richard Campbell and his wife Barbara. Campbell is not related to Krystle, but like her, grew up in Medford and attended UMass Boston.
"Eighty people competed for those scholarships this year," Richard Campbell said. "And the people who get the awards are incredibly fabulous people. We’re looking at the business leaders of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the nation."
The 2017 Run for Krystle Marathon Team includes UMass Boston graduates, staff and faculty members, and friends of the university. Through the Marathon team and donations, the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund has raised $680,000 in cash and pledges toward its $1 million goal.
(From left) Scholarship winners Eden Blakeley and Leona Smith hold up their scholarship checks with Chancellor Motley, Richard Campbell, Mayor Burke, and Bill Campbell.
This year’s scholarship winners say they’re proud to carry on the legacy of the former UMass Boston student.
Leona Smith has been financially independent since her freshman year of college. A full-time student pursuing a management degree with a concentration in leadership, she also works full-time -- some weeks as many as 50 hours -- and volunteers as a "Big Sister." She hopes to attend graduate school and study international management.
“Because I was awarded this scholarship, I will be able to focus more on finishing my degree,” Smith said.
Eden Blakeley’s two sisters and brother were cheering on runners at the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon, but were luckily unharmed. Living in New York City at the time, she hosted a fundraiser with two other Boston natives, raising $4,000 to assist victims and their families.
Blakeley is studying international management, holding a 3.9 GPA while working full-time; she hopes to pursue a career at the State Department upon graduation. She says she will carry Krystle’s memory with her.
“To receive a scholarship in Krystle Campbell’s name is really an honor,” Blakeley said. “Being a recipient of the Krystle Campbell Scholarship not only provides financial assistance, it gives me and my fellow recipients the motivation to push forward with our demanding curriculum and potential careers, and achieve the goals Krystle was unable to.”
Mayor Stephanie Burke told the award winners to "carry Krystle's smile with you wherever you go."
"She had a smile you will never forget and that was because it was deeply embedded in her heart, and she was always compassionate and sharing herself with others," Burke said. "If you take that legacy with you, I know you will do amazing things."