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UMass Boston unveils portrait of Krystle Campbell

Krystle Campbell was one of three people killed in the April 15 bombings near the Boston Marathon’s finish line.

Campbell Family/AP

Krystle Campbell was one of three people killed in the April 15 bombings near the Boston Marathon’s finish line.

UMass Boston has found another way to honor the memory of former student Krystle Campbell, who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings: a portrait that will hang on campus.

College officials and relatives unveiled the painting, which depicts a smiling Campbell wearing a University of Massachusetts Boston T-shirt, at a recent ceremony attended by the university community. The work was created by Cameron Bennett, an artist based in Britain, using photographs as inspiration.

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The painting, first displayed in the Campus Center atrium, eventually will hang in a permanent on-campus location that will be chosen by the school’s art committee, university officials said.

“It’s just beautiful,” her father, William Campbell Jr., said with tears in his eyes, according to remarks provided by the school. He thanked the university community and others for their outpouring of support since he lost his daughter seven months ago. “There really are good people in the world,” he said, according to the college.

Krystle Campbell’s mother, Patricia Campbell, also attended the unveiling, as did college Chancellor J. Keith Motley and UMass trustee Richard Campbell, who helped the family commission the painting.

Richard Campbell, who is not related to Krystle but is from the same town, Medford, also helped spearhead a UMass Boston scholarship fund in her memory.

“Krystle Campbell’s cheerful spirit will continue to brighten life at UMass Boston,” Motley said of the painting.

Jesse Wright, former student body president said: “How fitting that it is Krystle’s smile that will be left behind.”

Campbell, who was 29, studied sociology at UMass Boston from 2005-2007. She was awarded a degree posthumously at an emotional commencement in May.

In September, a gazebo on Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor was named in her memory. For the past five years, Campbell helped manage the Summer Shack restaurant’s catering and event operations on Spectacle and Georges islands.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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