Campus News

UGA Grady College awards Dean’s Medal to Swann Seiler

Athens, Ga. – Swann Seiler, manager of corporate support and external affairs for Georgia Power in Savannah, has been awarded the Dean’s Medal for Communication Leadership from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Seiler, a 1978 public relations alumnus of Grady College, is the fourth recipient of the medal and was honored in a ceremony held on Grady’s Peabody Awards Terrace on May 11.

The college’s highest honor, the Dean’s Medal was established in 2007 to honor an alumnus who plays a significant role in a communication event that rises to the status of case study in one of the journalism and mass communication disciplines.

“In Swann’s many leadership positions at the university and in corporate life at Georgia Power, she illuminates what we do as a college and the values we seek to inculcate,” said E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the Grady College. “In her work as the first female president of the UGA alumni association, as a member of the library board and athletic board and as a ‘brand manager’ for Uga, the beloved symbol of Georgia athletic spirit, Swann represents the best of vision, hope, and leadership to which our students and professions aspire.”

Seiler began her career with Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation in Livingston, N.J. in 1978 and worked in public relations for Lytton Industries Monroe Division in Morristown, N.J. She served as manager of corporate communications for Savannah Electric for 24 years before its 2006 merger with Georgia Power. Since then she has been affiliated with Georgia Power’s Coastal Region.

In 2005, Seiler was named the first female president of the UGA Alumni Association, serving a two-year term as leader of the organization supporting more than 230,000 alumni worldwide.

“Swann is an alumna who makes UGA proud. She has always answered the call to serve and has been part of many important initiatives,” noted Deborah Dietzler, executive director of UGA’s Alumni Association. “There is no telling how many miles she has covered in her life on behalf of her beloved alma mater. I know she will continue to be one of our very best ambassadors and cheerleaders. Her contributions will be felt for generations to come.”

Seiler received the first Southern Company UGA Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001. She was an incorporator and executive committee member of the UGA Arch Foundation and currently serves on the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors and Executive Committee and on UGA’s Library Board of Visitors. She has also served as president of the Grady College Board of Trust since 2010.

Along with her family, including parents Sonny and Cecelia, sisters Bess and Sara, and brother Charles, Seiler has raised and cared for UGA’s famed white English bulldog mascot, Uga, for over 50 years. Family members tend the dog at each home football game, most away games and many university-related functions.

Active in numerous community and civic activities, she served eight years on the Historic District Review Board for the City of Savannah. Seiler is president of the board of Senior Citizens, Inc. and serves on the board of the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire, and the board of the Bethesda Home for Boys. She was the first female campaign chair for United Way of the Coastal Empire.

Currently, she is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Georgia Women of Achievement, which honors extraordinary women in Georgia’s history. She also serves on the Georgia Humanities Council.

Seiler is past president of the Junior League of Savannah, former president of the Girl Scout Council of Savannah, and chaired the Chatham/Effingham Regional System Library Board. She now serves on the board of the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, where she was honored as a Woman of Distinction in April 2009.

Seiler is a member of the Savannah Chapter of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution and the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. She is a past member of the Board of Curators for the Georgia Historical Society, a member of the Rotary Club of Savannah and an active member of the Lutheran Church of the Ascension.

Previous recipients of the Grady College Dean’s Medal are Tim Mapes, vice president of marketing for Delta Air Lines, in 2007; Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop, in 2008; and Jody Danneman, executive producer and president of Atlanta ImageArts, Inc., in 2009.

The 2011 Dean’s Medal was presented in conjunction with the spring meeting of the Grady Board of Trust and a program announcing the John Huland Carmical Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Grady.

Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, digital and broadcast journalism, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.