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MassBay remembers alumna Krystle Campbell, other Marathon bombing victims

Posted by Tom Coakley  April 22, 2013 04:40 PM

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Students, faculty and staff gathered at MassBay Community College in Wellesley on Monday in remembrance of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, including one of their own.

Krystle Campbell, 29, of Arlington, was a member of the class of 2005, and had majored in business, according to college president John O'Donnell.

Campbell's funeral was today in Medford.

A moment of silence was held throughout the region at 2:50 p.m., roughly the time of the explosions at the Marathon that killed three, including Campbell, and injured more than 170.

Speaking at the brief MassBay ceremony in Wellesley, O'Donnell noted how "our country, our city, our values have all been attacked. … All of us have lost so much."

O'Donnell praised Campbell, who grew up in Medford, as a "successful professional" who had succeeded in the restaurant business.

"it is such a tribute to Krystle that she was immediately recognized by the faculty," he said. "For those of us who were not her contemporaries at MassBay, we can know her simply by looking at her picture. Kristle's eyes were bright, engaging, intelligent, caring, and direct."

Humanities Professor Robert Tarutis was one of Campbell's contemporaries, having taught her in a course on western civilization. Tarutis recited a poem, "The History Teacher," in her memory.

Speaking after Monday's ceremony, Tarutis said the fact that he remembered Campbell nearly 10 years later was a testament to her.

"When I saw the picture and the headline with her name on it on the Boston Globe website, I knew right away," he said. "I choked up. I cried. "

Tarutis said he remembered Campbell as a good student who was talkative, personable, and unafraid to make a point. "She had a sense of humor," he said. "That I do remember."

Speaking after the ceremony, O'Donnell said learning of the death of an alumna was a blow to a college community that was already reeling.

"Morale was already low," he said. "We're a college of the race. The race passes us by, and everybody stands and is part of the Marathon. So it hit everybody very hard."

The fact that one of the men allegedly responsible for Campbell's death attended MassBay went unmentioned during the memorial ceremony. Tamerlan Tsarnaev briefly attended MassBay in the spring of 2008 – three years after Campbell graduated.

Tsarnaev, who was enrolled in two evening classes before dropping out after three weeks, was killed after a shootout with police in Watertown Friday morning.

"I really believe colleges exist to move the world forward in thought and action," O'Donnell said. "We're in counterpoint to the evil of the world. And no one is separate from being exposed to that evil. No one. So today what we focused on was Krystle, who embodied the best of MassBay."

MassBay has established a scholarship in Campbell's name in partnership with the MassBay Community College Foundation.

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