BU Today

Campus Life

Student Dies in Sleep at Home

Classmates remember Tori Rubino (COM’09) as talented, fun


Victoria “Tori” Rubino, a popular senior in the College of Communication, was found dead in her bed at her Upper Saddle River, N.J., home on Sunday afternoon. Bergen County police said it appeared that Rubino had died in her sleep.

Rubino (COM’09) had had her wisdom teeth removed by dentists in her hometown two days before, and police said she had been prescribed Tylenol with codeine, but that there was no evidence that drugs played a role in her death. Autopsy results were not yet available.

Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore says the University community is deeply saddened by the news of Tori Rubino’s death.

“From my conversations with people who knew her,” says Elmore, “I know that Tori was a gracious friend and an active member of this community. We are fortunate to have known her and enjoyed her contributions. Whether you are on campus or off, I encourage you to keep Tori and her family in your prayers and to contact my office if you would like assistance.”

Roommate and close friendAmy Gromek (COM’09) says Rubino was the kind of person who could always be counted on if you needed help.

“She was always selfless,” says Gromek. “She was always willing to help you. The last time I saw her she was calming me down before midterms.”

“Tori was hilarious,” says Juliana Potts (CAS’09), who met Rubino freshman year and roomed with her last year in the Student Village. “You could just sit around with Tori for hours and have more fun than at any party. She had just gotten into photography, and she was always making us pose for pictures.”

Rubino, 21, lived in the Student Village; she studied in Sydney, Australia, last summer, and in London during the fall semester. Friends said she was applying to graduate school to study film and dreamed of working as a film critic. She was a talented dancer and had been vice president and treasurer of the dance group BU on Tap.

“She had so many friends,” says Leeor Vaserman (COM’09). “She could make people laugh with these one-liners. And she was a great writer, just so talented. She just made everything fun.”

Counseling is available at Student Health Services at 881 Commonwealth Ave., 617-353-3575. A 24-hour counseling hotline is available at 617-353-3569.

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.


32 Comments on Student Dies in Sleep at Home

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 5:43 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Rubinos. I had the opportunity to meet Tori freshman year and the world will not be the same without her. I am so incredibly sorry.

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 8:40 am


  • Dave on 03.10.2009 at 10:58 am

    What a huge tragedy. I only hope that this was not due to a failing on the part of the health care community.

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 11:19 am


    I never had the opportunity to meet this young lady, but after reading this story it tells me that I missed out on knowing someone very special. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. RIP!

  • robert gray on 03.10.2009 at 11:28 am


    i’m a security assistant at 10 Buick Street and
    want to extend my deepest sympathys to
    her family and friends…i know that the best
    of her remains with us all…..

  • kcornuelle on 03.10.2009 at 11:51 am

    she sounds like an amazing person.

    my thoughts are with all who knew her, and the whole BU community.

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 12:08 pm

    Rest in peace, Tori

    Tori was an amazing young woman, and I am glad I had the chance to meet her — I only wish I had gotten the chance to know her better. This is a terrible tragedy, and my deepest sympathies go out to the Rubino family and friends. RIP Tori, you will be dearly missed.

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 1:13 pm

    May her family and friends find comfort in
    knowing what a wonderful person Tori was. They are fortunate to have shared time with her and now have wonderful memories to help them cope in this great time of loss. I can not imagine losing a daughter. My prayers are with them. May Tori smile down on you.

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 1:24 pm

    Rest in peace, Tori. You will be dearly missed.

  • Ryan Dreyer on 03.10.2009 at 1:32 pm

    I had classes with Tori and we became friends. I’m shocked and sadened to hear this. She was beyond a good person. RIP Tori. I love you. You will be missed

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 2:07 pm

    Rip she will be greatly missed

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 2:20 pm

    My deepest condolances to Tori’s family and friends. My thoughts and prayers will be with all of them. To everyone else outhere I have but one message…
    Life is short, you only have a small amount of time, make a difference and make it count. God bless!

  • j on 03.10.2009 at 2:23 pm

    tori was a great friend

    thanks girl!

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 3:43 pm

    I met Tori on the other side of the world. One night there was a jazz and blues festival at Darling Harbor. Nobody wanted to go with me, but as soon as I told Tori her face lit up and she said she wanted to tag along.

    We arrived at the festival as the sun was setting. A reggae/ska band began performing as we found seats on the grass. The music played on and eventually the rosy purple clouds above us gave way to night. Everyone sat in a giant semi-circle around the stage, moving back and forth in their chairs, but no one would stand up to dance. The band stopped playing. The guitar player told everyone they needed to drop their fears already, get up and move.

    The music was incredibly happy and uplifting, but nobody would stand up to dance. They were all just looking around waiting for someone else to do it first. A few people stood up and swayed a little bit, but Tori and I were among the first to hop to our feet and really move. As the night went on we got more people into it and we lost ourselves in the rapture of the music. We got more and more people to join us and we were eventually jumping around on a dance floor dancing with four or five old Australian ladies we had never seen before. When the music ended we sat by the harbor and watched fireworks shoot off above the water with thousands of other people.

    I didn’t know Tori well, but that night was one of the highlights of my life. She was a fun, amazing person and I am happy to have shared that experience with her.

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 4:19 pm

    Rest in peace, those of us who never got to know Tori clearly missed knowing a wonderful person. May her memory stay forever young.

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 4:30 pm

    A beautiful girl inside and out......

    I was fortunate to have children grow up with Tori in our hometown and know her family as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Tori, RIP, as you were a joy to all who knew you and a wonderful little and big girl to hug and know. I am so sad to hear this news and my heart goes out to your family and friends. May Love and Peace be with you always!

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 5:20 pm

    Bless her and those she left behind.

  • Sarah Shanfield on 03.10.2009 at 6:28 pm

    Always had amazing oneliners

    Tori came from a very loving and loyal family and I literally cannot imagine the pain they are all in. My thoughts are with her three younger siblings and mother and father.

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2009 at 8:16 pm

    A great person

    Tori was a great person and a bright girl whose smile could light up a room. My prayers to the family through this very hard time.

  • Maestra on 03.10.2009 at 10:00 pm


    I taught Tori in her junior year of high school at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale. She was full of joy and promise. Not one day went by without the blessing of her smile. When I would praise her, she would modestly accept and the next day, she would try even harder. I am stunned by her loss and I extend my sympathies to her loving family. It is difficult to absorb such a tragedy. It is impossible to accept. Still, we are left with her best message – the real life we wait for is the life we are living now. The measure of our worth is the joy we share with others. We will miss you with profound feeling. May you rest in peace, Victoria. Siempre, tu Maestra

  • Iris on 03.11.2009 at 12:59 am


    I just read this news and feel so sad about it. May God bless her family and friends, and may Tori rest in peace.

  • Farah Chaudhury on 03.11.2009 at 1:01 am

    Tragic loss

    I am not sure if I ever met her around campus but this news struck me as very shocking and tragic. I want to convey my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May her soul rest in peace.

  • Farah Chaudhury on 03.11.2009 at 1:11 am

    I am not sure if I ever met her around campus but this news struck me as very shocking and tragic. I want to convey my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May her soul rest in peace.

  • KMP on 03.11.2009 at 10:02 am

    A place of peace

    Where do they gather those that pass on before the sand settles in the hourglass? What invisible messages do they leave on the walls of our lives? What prayers do they send on the restless winds? What do they see on the edge of their time on earth?

    The door to eternity I pray. So go well stranger. May the sand always shift under your feet and lead you to a place of peace. May peace embrace those who say your name with tears in their eyes.

  • Anonymous on 03.11.2009 at 7:45 pm


    Tori was a wonderful person and an amazing friend. I am so sad to see her go. I went to high school with Tori and we used to have lunch together. She was a smart, caring, and an overall sweet person. There wasn’t a mean bone in her body. Rest in peace Tori. You are missed <3

  • Anonymous on 03.11.2009 at 10:10 pm

    I was blessed to know this beautiful special young woman from the time she was a beautiful special little girl. Tori you can never be replaced and you will live in our hearts forever.

  • Anonymous on 03.16.2009 at 1:42 pm

    this is a tragedy. A girl this young should never “die in her sleep”. Explaination please? This girl seems like an awesome girl, and her loss is very sad, but how come the article doesn’t actually give any information on HOW she died? autopsy results? (I mean, it’s probably none of my business, but at least I hope the family was given a more conclusive COD.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2009 at 1:18 pm

    Re: unknown cause of death

    The article says autopsy results were not yet available. Although things like this are extremely rare and tragic, sometimes they do happen. Three months ago one of my best friends, a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis, passed away in her dorm room. Even with an autopsy and toxicology testing, there is still no known cause of death. Sometimes there is no reason. It’s absurd and wrong, but it does happen.

    My prayers go out to the friends and family of Tori.

  • Anonymous on 06.13.2009 at 11:46 pm

    Tori, every day without you is another hurdle to jump…and I’m not sure I can do without you here to catch me.

    I loved you more than anyone. You were, and always will be, the most important person in my life.

    With all my love, forever and ever,


  • Anonymous on 06.21.2009 at 10:55 pm

    you are forever my best friend, my better half, my everything…we said we wouldn’t know what to do without the other, and we were right…i ache for you forever

  • Anonymous on 08.24.2009 at 9:55 am

    I’m so broken without you, Tori. You’re a better friend than anyone could ever wish for – nothing will ever be the same.

  • Anonymous on 02.27.2010 at 1:14 am

    Such a sad story. I was told I had to get my wisdom teeth removed and I was curious to see if getting it out has any dangers, and from what I have found I am scared. But I guess I have to put my faith in God and know that he has a plan for me. RIP Tori.

Post Your Comment

(never shown)