Cecelia Seiler, the “matriarch” of University of Georgia’s long line of bulldog mascots, died Thursday in Savannah.
The Savannah Morning News reported Seiler, 80, had been ill for quite some time.
Seiler and her husband, well-known Savannah attorney Sonny Seiler, received a white bulldog for a wedding gift in 1956 when the couple were still UGA students, the newspaper said. Seiler sewed a ”G” to a red T-shirt for Uga I, and the dog quickly became a campus favorite. Eight more Ugas followed (Russ, aka Uga IX, is the current mascot), all cared for by the Seilers.
Read more about on Uga and the Seilers on the UGA athletics website.
Georgia football coach Mark Richt said in a statement: "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."
Added former football coach and AD 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."
The Savannah Morning News said Cecelia Seiler is survived by her husband, four children and seven grandchildren. Funeral services are Monday in Savannah.