Dawg Nation received some sad news on Thursday evening. Cecelia Seiler, whose 1956 marriage to Sonny Seiler led to the establishment of the most famous college mascot in the country, has passed away at the age of 80 in Savannah.
Mrs. Seiler and her husband received an English bulldog as a wedding present in 1956. They brought him to the first Georgia football game that year, and the dog caught the attention of coach Wally Butts, who asked Sonny to bring him to every game and named him the official team mascot. The dog's official registered name was "Hood's Ole Dan," but Sonny and Cecelia decided to call him "Uga," and a dynasty was born.
And though Sonny Seiler has long been the public "face" of the family that cares for Uga, Cecelia was always working just as hard, if not harder, behind the scenes to care for and look after the Seilers' family pet. It was Cecelia herself, in fact, that crafted Uga's original "G" jersey by tailoring a red children's size t-shirt to fit Uga I and sewing on the "Georgia G," which she made out of black felt. She continued making Uga's jersey until Nike began providing Georgia with an actual canine-sized jersey made out of the same material as game jerseys (starting in the 1990's, I believe).
Mrs. Seiler is survived by her husband Sonny; her children Swann Seiler and Charles Seiler of Savannah, Bess Thompson of St. Simons and Sara Storey of Athens; and seven grandchildren.
RIP, Cecelia Seiler. The University of Georgia and Dawg fans everywhere will forever be grateful for your lifelong dedication to the institution we love so dearly. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the entire Seiler family during this time.