Campus News

Seiler family dedicates sculpture of UGA mascot

Uga VI statue
On Nov. 14 owners of the Uga mascot dogs

Seiler family dedicates sculpture of UGA mascot

For nearly a decade, he charmed crowds, delighted football fans and was hailed as the “winningest” mascot in UGA’s history. Uga VI passed on in June 2008, but his likeness will live on in the main lobby of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

On Nov. 14, Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler, owner of the past and present Uga mascots, and the Seiler family dedicated a bronze statue of Uga VI to the vet school in recognition of the love and care the college has bestowed upon all the Uga mascots through the years.

The bronze statue is nearly life-size and weighs about 100 pounds. It is one of two original artistic studies made by sculptor Wesley Wofford, who was commissioned by a friend of Seiler’s to create an 8-foot statue of Uga VI for a Savannah restaurant chain called “The Dawg House Grill,” which opened in 2006. The restaurants are now closed, following the death of owner Dennis Lofton.

It was Lofton who came up with the idea for the giant Uga VI statue for his restaurants—a towering likeness, standing 5-feet tall by 4-feet wide and 8-feet long; it was Lofton who worked with Seiler to get his approval of Wofford’s creation. And, it was Lofton who aided Seiler in the idea to give one of the two original artistic studies (maquettes) to the veterinary medicine college.

“It was a mutual idea,” said Seiler. “He said he wanted to do something nice for the university, and I couldn’t picture a better place for one (of the maquettes) to be than the vet school. They’ve taken such good care of all the mascots.”

The statue sits on a pedestal in the lobby of the college’s main academic building. In celebration of the Seilers’ gift, one of the lobby display cases has a variety of mascot memorabilia, including collars and outfits that the Uga “dawgs” have donned in recent decades.

Wofford said Lofton commissioned him to create the 8-foot statue in January 2008. The first two maquettes were created long before the 8-foot statue was finished. Lofton told Wofford that he wanted to present the first maquette, also bronzed, to Seiler as a gift for allowing him to use Uga VI’s likeness at his restaurants. Lofton presented the gift to Seiler in late summer 2008, not long after Uga VI died.

Wofford grew up in Georgia and remembers the university, and its mascot, as always being prevalent in his life.

“Some of my first drawings were of Uga, so it was really satisfying to me artistically,” he said.

Seiler, his daughter, Swann; son, Charles; and daughter-in-law, Wendy, all attended the dedication, which was held in the academic lobby.

“I wish that Dennis could be here because he thought it was a great idea, and he was so happy when I told him that the vet school would be delighted to add it to their memorabilia,” said Seiler.

The veterinary college has provided care for the Uga mascots since 1957; Bruce Hollett, associate professor,  has been the lead UGA veterinarian for the Uga mascots for the past two decades.