When Charles McKnight Murdock recently made a gift to augment the Charles McKnight and Kenneth Crampton Memorial Scholarship, he wrote a new page in a family history that first became intertwined with Princeton's nearly 100 years ago.
Murdock's grandfather, Robert Wilson McKnight, graduated in 1919. He and his wife, Rachel, had a son, Charles, who became a member of the Class of 1947. World War II intervened before he could graduate, and he left the University to join the Navy. He died in a train accident in 1945 on his way to sea duty. His sister, Anne McKnight, had married his neighbor and friend, Kenneth Crampton ’43. Kenneth also died in 1945, in the Battle of the Bulge.
Robert and Rachel McKnight established the scholarship in 1946 in memory of their son and son-in-law, two Princetonians who died serving their country. Kenneth’s uncle, Alexander J. Barron, a member of the Class of 1902, also contributed generously to the scholarship.
Anne married again and became Anne McKnight Murdock; she named her eldest son Charles McKnight Murdock in honor of her brother. Although not an alumnus, he shares his family's connection to Princeton.
“My contribution to this scholarship reinforces the memory of my uncle Charles McKnight and my mother’s first husband, Kenneth Crampton,” said Murdock. “But as importantly, my support also helps to sustain my grandparents’ desire to ensure that financial aid be available to students who, without it, might not be able to attend the University that played such an important and productive role in our family history.”
The Charles McKnight and Kenneth Crampton Memorial Scholarship has helped 140 deserving scholars attend Princeton, including current student Minerva Pedroza ’14, an anthropology major pursuing certificates in Portuguese and the Program in Latin American Studies.
“The scholarship makes it possible for me to study and partake in the wonderful opportunities at Princeton,” Pedroza said. “I am incredibly grateful for the generosity of the McKnight and Barron families.”