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Lorraine Branham, dean of Syracuse’s Newhouse School, dies

By Eric Reinhardt


Lorraine Branham
Lorraine Branham (Photo credit: Syracuse University news website)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Lorraine Branham, dean of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications since 2008, died Tuesday following a “courageous and hard-fought battle with cancer,” the university said. She was 66.

Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud confirmed Branham’s death in a message to Syracuse students, faculty, and staff that was posted Tuesday on the school’s news website.

In his message, Syverud wrote that Branham “was many things, most importantly a pillar in the Syracuse University community and beyond, an icon in the media industry, an academic innovator, a mentor, an educator, an inspiration and a friend.”

Syverud used his message to outline a few of Branham’s “many contributions” to Syracuse University. They included her work on an $18 million fundraising campaign for the renovation of Newhouse 2 and the creation of the Newhouse Studio and Innovation Center.

She also oversaw the creation of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship; the Peter A. Horvitz Endowed Chair in Journalism Innovation; and the W2O Group Center for Social Commerce.

Syverud also wrote that “Branham’s focus on students was always evident,” noting her support of the student-produced, web-based news magazine, “The NewsHouse.”

Under her leadership, the Newhouse School also created the Newhouse Sports Media Center.

In addition, Syverud wrote that hundreds of students have benefited from her advocacy of the satellite campus programs Newhouse in New York and Syracuse University Los Angeles Semester.

Syracuse University was scheduled to hold a vigil to honor the life of Lorraine Branham on Wednesday afternoon in Hendricks Chapel. Amy Falkner, acting dean of the Newhouse School, was among those scheduled to offer reflections during the vigil.

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