Newhouse mourns the passing of Dean Lorraine Branham

By Wendy S. Loughlin

April 2, 2019
Photo of Lorraine Branham

The Newhouse School mourns the passing of Dean Lorraine Branham, who died this morning following a battle with cancer.

“We cannot even begin to imagine the Newhouse School without Dean Branham at the helm,” said Amy Falkner, senior associate dean of academic affairs. “She was an incredible leader, a gifted journalist, a dear friend and a fierce advocate for our school. She will be greatly missed.”

“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,” said Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud in a statement to the campus community today.

Branham had served as dean since 2008. Under her leadership, the school established the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship; the Peter A. Horvitz Endowed Chair in Journalism Innovation; the W2O Group Center for Social Commerce; and the Newhouse Sports Media Center. She oversaw the development of the school’s student-run digital news magazine, The NewsHouse, and was a driving force behind the establishment of the satellite campus programs Syracuse University Los Angeles Semester and Newhouse NYC. She spearheaded an $18 million fundraising campaign for the renovation of Newhouse 2 and the creation of the Newhouse Studio and Innovation Center, including Dick Clark Studios and the Alan Gerry Center for Media Innovation.

The oldest child in a large family, Branham grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University. Her 25-year career in journalism began with a position as a rookie reporter at the Philadelphia Tribune, a small community newspaper. She went on to hold positions at the Courier-Post in southern New Jersey, the Philadelphia Bulletin, The Baltimore Sun, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Philadelphia Inquirer. She was senior vice president and executive editor of the Tallahassee Democrat, the first woman and the first African American to hold the position.

She joined Newhouse from the University of Texas at Austin, where she served as director of the School of Journalism and G.B. Dealey Regents Professor.