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 UGA I

UGA I

Birth
Death 12 Mar 1967 (aged 10)
Burial Athens, Clarke County, Georgia, USA
Plot Sanford Stadium, Uga Mausoleum, Main Gate
Memorial ID 8308 · View Source
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Original Georgia Bulldogs team mascot. The football team was in need of a animal representative which would epitomize and symbolize the image of its program. In the past they had a goat, wildcat and various dogs and the previous canine had recently died. In 1955, Sonny Seiler was a law student at Georgia. Married, he and his wife Cecelia received an English Bulldog with a registered name 'Hood's Ole Dan' as a wedding gift. On a football Saturday in 1956, she bought a child's red T-shirt at J.C. Penney, sewed on a big black G, dressed the dog and the couple walked him around Sanford Stadium. University officials noticed the obvious. He would be a natural for a Bulldog mascot. A discussion followed about the possibility of the animal representing the team. The couple offered to bring the Bulldog to all home games. A new name was fashioned. Ole Dan became Uga I, a name created from the university's acronym, UGA. An arrangement was made where Uga would be available to return to all football games and school functions but would live with the Seiler's at their residence in Savannah. The Uga dynasty was created. The dog would go on to create a unique tradition as well as sire a line of bulldog mascots for the university, a line that remains unbroken to this day. Uga I, became a university tradition. Every time the team charged onto the field before the start of a home game, they were led out by their fierce mascot. The bulldog-led charge became part of the pageantry of the game, a tradition that has now stood the test of time for more than half a century. Career highlights...Kidnapped twice. Medical pioneer in arsenic treatment for heartworms. In 1960, he sat on the hood of a Cadillac in the Orange Bowl parade in Miami as the team was the ACC representative in the game. Becoming infirmed, Uga I was succeeded by his son, Uga II at a pregame ceremony at Homecoming, 1966, with the Georgia Redcoat Band lining the field, Uga II was led to the center of the field and introduced. Upon his death, the following year, Uga I was interred in front of the campus Student Union Building. An accurate life-size bronze sculpture marked the spot. However, the sculpture generated a life of its own. The night before the annual rival game with Georgia Tech, the bronze bust disappeared. Bands of Georgia students searched the Georgia Tech campus and with the use of a metal detector, found their bronze bulldog buried on the Tech campus. It was returned and restored. The bronze Uga I over the years has become the focus of rival pranksters and has suffered many indignities. His posterior has been painted Georgia red many times and cigarettes are constantly being inserted in his lips while detractors pose for pictures. The grave was moved to the interior of Sanford Stadium after the death of Uga II. However, the statue of Uga I remains. Today it serves primarily as a 'mount' for hundreds of children and grandchildren of alumni who return to revisit the campus of the University of Georgia, while being photographed. A mausoleum has been developed inside the stadium called the Uga mausoleum which consists of marble vaults and is located near the main gate with a statue of Uga I nearby. Each crypt has a bronze tablet with an epitaph outlining the dogs achievements. The University of Georgia is the only major college that actually buries its mascots within the confines of the stadium. The Aggies of Texas A&M have a burial site for its mascots but is located outside their stadium. Before each home game, flowers are placed at the site. The memorial plot attracts thousands of fans and visitors each year.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 25 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8308
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for UGA I (2 Dec 1956–12 Mar 1967), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8308, citing Sanford Stadium, Athens, Clarke County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .