SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Lorraine Branham, dean of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, has died at 66.

Chancellor Kent Syverud said Branham died Tuesday after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He called her "a pillar in the Syracuse University community" and "an icon in the media industry."

Branham, who was born in Philadelphia, received her bachelor's degree from Temple University and became a full-time journalism professor in 2002 after a 25-year career in newspapers as an editor, editorial writer and reporter in stints at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tallahassee Democrat, Baltimore Sun and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Branham took over as dean of Newhouse in 2008, replacing David Rubin. She led an $18 million fundraising campaign for the renovation of Newhouse II and the creation of the Newhouse Studio and Innovation Center featuring Dick Clark Studios, the Alan Gerry Center for Media Innovation, and the Diane and Bob Miron Digital News Center.

Branham also championed the student-produced, web-based news magazine, The NewsHouse, and spurred creation of the Newhouse Sports Media Center.

"I am forever grateful for what (she) accomplished," Donald Newhouse, whose father established the Newhouse school, told The Post-Standard of Syracuse.

Prior to arriving at Syracuse, Branham served as dean of the journalism school at University of Texas at Austin.

Chancellor Syverud said the university would organize gatherings for students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to mourn together.

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