Skip to main content
Long a Place Where Enduring Bonds Begin, Dominican University Now Tops the Charts in Friendship

You won't find it on any college ranking, but Dominican University is “#1 in Friendship.” And it has become a near-ubiquitous tagline around campus.

Students proudly profess it and many don apparel sporting the now-signature phrase. There’s even a chance you may find a Sinsinawa Dominican Sister wearing their own piece of #1 in Friendship swag, which was personally delivered to the Mound. 

It is the legacy of relationship-centered support and compassion for all students set out by the Sisters that is the driving force behind generations of friendships, and now, a new motto to embrace that history.

“You’ll never meet a Sister at Dominican who doesn’t want to learn about you, be your friend and invest in you,” said Lupe Tiscareño ’18, MSW ’22, who first coined the sentiment during the summer of 2021.

“And to me, that’s what friendship is about,” she added. “I think the Sisters really brought out this mission of relationship-centered work and Caritas and Veritas, and how that translates to first-year college students is the meaning behind #1 in Friendship.”

Lupe, who is now the assistant director of academic advising as well as an adjunct instructor in the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences, began promulgating the catchphrase alongside colleague Mimi Pena ’21 as orientation leaders guided incoming students around campus.

The tagline, which originated as a play on the university’s prominent position in the U.S. News and World Report college rankings, quickly caught on—and students began fully embracing the message and passing it among themselves all throughout the summer. 

“Every time one of the torch leaders went out of their way to help a student, or show kindness, we would always hear Lupe say, ‘That’s very #1 in Friendship of you,’” Sheila Dumaraog ’23, a 2021 orientation leader, recalled. “Lupe would say that often and it then transferred over onto us and shortly after we started hearing other students saying it to each other as well.”

Dominican has long been a place where meaningful friendships are formed. Here are just a few stories of these enduring bonds. 

A lifetime of laughter 
From left: Helen Kamm Faust, MaryAnn McGrath Howie, Barbara Tucker Philipps on their graduation day in 1965.
Friends from Rosary College’s Class of 1965 celebrate their 80th birthdays together in 2023. (Photo courtesy of Helen Faust)
A 70th birthday party was held on campus in August 2023 for members of Rosary College’s Class of 1975. (Photo courtesy of Kate Coulihan Ficke)
Korin Heinz ’89 in her host family’s home in Strasbourg, France in 1987. (Photo courtesy of Korin Heinz)
Past members of the men’s and women’s volleyball programs, including players from the inaugural men’s NCAA team, attended the 2023 wedding of Alex Coyne ’17 and Christina Wilson ’16. (Photo courtesy of men’s volleyball)
Members of the men’s volleyball team in 2017.