Lorraine Branham, Dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Has Died


Waged a courageous and hard-fought battle with cancer 

Dean Lorraine Branham last April with MSNBC’s Joy Reid at Hendricks Chapel 

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

It is with deep sadness that I write today to share the news of the passing of one of Syracuse University’s most esteemed academic leaders. Lorraine Branham, dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications since 2008, passed away today after a courageous and hard-fought battle with cancer. Dean 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.

Among her many contributions to Syracuse University, Dean Branham spearheaded an $18 million fundraising campaign for the renovation of Newhouse 2 and the creation of the Newhouse Studio and Innovation Center. She 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.

Dean Branham’s focus on students was always evident, particularly in her championing of the student-produced, web-based news magazine, The NewsHouse. Under her leadership, the Newhouse School created its sports communications emphasis and the Newhouse Sports Media Center. Hundreds of students have benefited from her advocacy of the satellite campus programs Newhouse in New York and Syracuse University Los Angeles Semester.

MSNBC’s Joy Reid and Newhouse Dean of Communications, Lorraine Branham

This news is devastating for our community, including our students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, supporters and all who knew and admired Dean Branham. We are working to create opportunities for the community, both on campus and around the globe, to come together to grieve this enormous loss while also celebrating the many ways Dean Branham impacted the Orange family. We will share pertinent details as we finalize arrangements.

Syracuse University