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BU Bridge Logo

Week of 6 November 1998

Vol. II, No. 13

Feature Article

Their cause is a new casa

by J. Nicole Long

"The campus is our neighborhood," says Velia Tosi, longtime resident of Bay State Road. But proximity is only the most basic of the connections she and her husband, Carlos, feel for BU.

Parents and grandparents of BU graduates, the Tosis donated funds that made possible the complete renovation of 196 Bay State Road, a student residence now known as the Carlos H. and Velia N. Tosi Casa Italiana. The five-floor brownstone is occupied by students with a strong interest in Italian.

Casa Italiana has new heating, plumbing, and electrical systems and new ceilings, walls, and floors. "The décor is most striking," says senior Christina Tramontozzi (COM'99). "After living here I'm not sure I will want to go home."

Students who live in Casa Italiana speak Italian to one another and participate in Italian education and arts programs. "I love living here," says Tramontozzi. "It's so luxurious I insist that even casual acquaintances come in and see."

Jon Westling with Carlos and Velia Tosi

Jon Westling with Carlos and Velia Tosi at the October 20 dedication of the renovated Casa Italiana. Photo by Fred Sway

The Tosis' son, Carlos H. Tosi, Jr., was a student in BU's foreign language department in the late '60s. While participating in an exchange program during his junior year in Valencia, Spain, he was killed in a household accident. Carlos Jr. had hoped to become a professor, so his parents continue to support his -- and their -- interest in education.

Since they live down the block, last weekend the Tosis showed up at 196 unexpectedly. They decided to spend the evening watching the film Il Postino with their young neighbors.

"Velia told me, 'Those students don't know what they're in for since they got me,'" says James Theriault, a regional major gifts officer at the Development Office. "But I've worked closely with the Tosis. What those students are in for is a lot of love and generosity."