A Newhouse Student’s Response To The Death Of Dean Branham

A Newhouse Student’s Response To The Death Of Dean Branham

Dean Branham had an impact on each and every Newhouse student.

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When your community suffers a loss it has an impact of every member of the community, no matter the individual's relationship with the person.

On April 2, 2019, when I received an email from the chancellor of Syracuse University I wasn't expecting to see that Dean Lorraine Branham had lost her battle with cancer. Dean Branham has been the dean of Newhouse, the public communication school here at SU, for over 10 years and she had an impact on every student she has come in contact with. As a Television, Radio, and Film student in Newhouse, of course, I knew who Branham was and was deeply saddened when I heard this news.

I wouldn't say I had a close relationship with Dean Branham by any means, but her presence was sensed throughout the school.

During opening weekend my freshman year, I attended the Newhouse new student and parent brunch. Like many other students there I clung by my parents still unsure of my new territory. It was the Friday before classes started and I had moved in less than 48 hours before. Not to mention this was the last event my parents were attending before it was time for them to say their goodbyes and leave me on this unfamiliar campus all by myself.

So needless to say I was scared.

However, at this brunch full of sad parents and nervous new students, there were many faculty members present, including Dean Branham. I can't remember every conversation I had that day or who I even spoke to, but I remember Dean Branham. Everyone was eagerly approaching the dean hoping to have a small conversation with her. I remember my parents and I even conversing with her for a bit. She was able to take away some of the nerves and for the first time made me feel like I could belong here.

Later in the day after saying goodbye to my parents and having to watch them leave, I had to prepare myself for my Newhouse orientation. I was scared and alone and didn't know what I had just gotten myself into. My peer advisor was an amazing first resource at Syracuse and is still a friend to this day, but when she led us to the Newhouse convocation I automatically felt a sense of community.

Between all the fear, excitement and the new environment, I don't remember a lot of what Dean Branham said in her speech, but I remember feeling at home in Newhouse.

As someone who holds a high position in college, their interaction with the students can be limited. However, even though I'm not sure how many times I personally interacted with Dean Branham, I believed she was there looking out for me and all my fellow Newhouse students. Her presence on this campus will be missed, but the sense of community she built not just in Newhouse, but throughout the entire campus will help carry on her legacy.

Dean Branham, you will be missed, but not forgotten.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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