Cecelia Seiler Passes Away

Cecelia Seiler, wife of Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler and owner of the University of Georgia lineage of “Uga” Bulldog mascots for more than a half century, passed away in Savannah on Thursday.

Seiler, the former Cecelia Gunn, was a native of Columbus, Georgia. She married Sonny while they were students at the University of Georgia. In 1956, while Sonny was in law school at UGA, the couple received an English Bulldog as a belated wedding gift from Frank Heard, a family friend of the Gunns.

That fall, Cecelia altered a red children’s t-shirt to fit the puppy and sewed a “G” she cut out of black felt onto the garment. On Sept. 19, 1956, the Seilers dressed the bulldog in the shirt and brought it to both a party at Sigma Chi fraternity house, where Sonny had been president as a UGA undergraduate, and then to the Bulldogs’ football game against Florida State.

Shortly thereafter, Uga I was “collared” as the official mascot of the University of Georgia.

While the Seilers moved to Sonny’s hometown of Savannah after he graduated from law school in Athens, Uga has remained the university’s mascot ever since. Uga I served from 1956-66, followed by Uga II (1966-72), Uga III (1972-80), Uga IV (1981-89), Uga V 1990-99, Uga VI (1999-2008) and Uga VII (2008-09). From 2009-12 “Russ,” served as interim role after the death of Uga VII, his half-brother. Uga VIII was collared in 2010 but died from lymphoma in February 2011. Russ was officially installed as Uga IX on Sept. 15, 2012.

Cecelia is survived by Sonny; children Swann Seiler and Charles Seiler of Savannah, Bess Thompson of St. Simons and Sara Storey of Athens; and seven grandchildren.

Comment from University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead
“Cecelia’s devotion to the University of Georgia was surpassed only by her devotion to Sonny and the family. We all mourn her passing and are so thankful for her faithful love and care for the Bulldog tradition.”

Comment from J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. The Seiler family has done so much and means a great deal to the entire University of Georgia community.”

Comment from University of Georgia football coach Mark Richt
“My heart goes out to Sonny and the Seiler family on the passing of Cecelia. I know that my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire Bulldog nation are with the family.”

Comment from former University of Georgia AD and football coach Vince Dooley
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sonny and the family. Cecelia was truly the matriarch and a force behind the Uga tradition. God bless her and the family.”

Courtesy of UGA Sports Communications

View Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. lemondrop87

    Jun 6, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    God bless all the Seiler families in the trying days ahead. Cecelia will be greatly missed by the entire “Bulldog Nation”…

Leave a Reply

More in UGA Football

Jake Edwards

Georgia loses offensive line depth as Jake Edwards transfers

Brandon SudgeMay 28, 2016
Dawg Nation

Budget of $123 million approved by UGAAA Athletics Board

UGA Sports CommunicationsMay 26, 2016
Devon Gales

Devon Gales moves legs voluntarily for first time

Brandon SudgeMay 19, 2016
Brandon Kublanow

Brandon Kublanow named to 2016 Rimington Trophy Watch List

Kevin KelleyMay 17, 2016
Brian Herrien

RB Brian Herrien signs with UGA as late qualifier for 2016 class

Brandon SudgeMay 17, 2016
Brian Herrien

RB Brian Herrien to sign with Georgia on Tuesday

Brandon SudgeMay 17, 2016
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game

Time, TV Set for Georgia-North Carolina Game on Sept. 3

Kevin KelleyMay 17, 2016
Chauncey Rivers

UGA DL Chauncey Rivers dismissed after third marijuana arrest

Brandon SudgeMay 13, 2016
Nick Robinson

QB Nick Robinson to transfer from Georgia

Brandon SudgeMay 12, 2016
Kirby Smart & Sony Michel

UGA ranked 13th in ESPN Post-Spring Way-Too-Early Top 25

Kevin KelleyMay 10, 2016
Kirby Smart

UGA sets 2016 Homecoming Game vs. Vanderbilt

Kevin KelleyMay 10, 2016
Georgia Bulldogs

73 UGA student-athletes to receive degrees Friday

UGA Sports CommunicationsMay 10, 2016

© 2016 SicEmDawgs.com
Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties