Susan French Brandscheid, a longtime University of Wisconsin employee and iconic figure within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, died Wednesday at the age of 70.

“Susie,” as she was commonly known by SJMC faculty, staff and graduate students, will be remembered for her dedication, guidance and ability to cut through bureaucracy to find solutions, SJMC said in a statement released Sept. 13.

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According to SJMC, Brandscheid joined UW in 1969 as a typist for University Hospital and the sociology department. She was eventually hired by SJMC in 1973 to provide staff support, where her duties were quickly broadened to working with graduate students, fundraising records and budgeting and staffing data.

Brandscheid was promoted to academic specialist in 1975 and soon became assistant to the director and graduate student advisor, the statement said.

Brandscheid, according to SJMC, was a committed advocate for SJMC graduate students and spent years listening and helping them believe in themselves and their work.

In the SJMC statement, director Hemant Shah described Brandscheid as an “iconic presence” and said the school and all the students she guided will miss her.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, Sept. 18 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Rd. in Madison.