Central New York, Education, Syracuse

How the Late S.I. Newhouse Impacted Syracuse University

By Sawyer Kamman SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —Media titan S.I. Newhouse Jr. passed away on Sunday at the age of 89. He is the son of S.I. Newhouse, the namesake of three Syracuse University buildings that house the school’s Communication and Journalism departments.

S.I. Junior and his father have been large benefactors to Syracuse University, beginning in 1960. Most recently, Newhouse Jr. donated $15 million to help construct the Newhouse III building on the University’s campus. Without the endowments from the Newhouse family, Kelly Barnett, Newhouse’s Director of the Career Development Center, said Syracuse would have a much different look.

“It wouldn’t be where it is today, that’s for sure. Certainly the name, you know I think it has the name of the industry, everyone knows the Newhouse School, we wouldn’t have that brand,” Barnett says. “We wouldn’t have students coming out with the same level of training, the same awareness of what it takes to be successful in the industry, so it would be a different place.”

Newhouse Jr. certainly was familiar with success in the industry. His riches amassed several billion, stemming from his chairmanship of Conde Nast, which began in 1975. Conde Nast is a media group that owns many publications under its umbrella, including GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Wired.

He also has a keen eye for talent, something seen in his business dealings and hirings. He was instrumental in reviving Vanity Fair magazine, helped along by the hiring of Anna Wintour as editor-in-chief, a intimidating woman portrayed by Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada.” Newhouse Jr. also commissioned The Art of the Deal when he owned Random House Publishing, a book written by then-upstart real estate mogul Donald Trump.

In a statement released to the press, Newhouse School Dean Lorraine Branham had nothing but the highest praise for the Si and the Newhouse family.

“Like their father, Si Newhouse and his brother, Donald, were unflagging supporters and champions of the Newhouse School,” she said. “Their backing made so many things possible—including the school’s remarkable facilities—and their influence positively impacted generations of students and alumni who, in turn, made their own mark on the communications industry.”

Newhouse Jr. is remembered by his wife Victoria, two children S.I. III and Pamela, as well as his brother Donald.