It is with great sadness that we announce the passing this past week of Don Seale ‘57, age 86, a 2017 inductee into Clarkson’s Athletic Hall of Fame and a decorated Major and veteran in the Royal Canadian Air Force. We send our condolences to his wife, Juanita, and their children and grandchildren for their loss.
“The Clarkson Athletics family lost a great member when Don passed. He helped shape what we are as a hockey program and a campus community. We are proud that he wore the Green and Gold,” said Clarkson Director of Athletics, Scott Smalling.
The Don Seale ‘57 Clarkson Alumni Endowed Scholarship has been established through the generosity of alumni donors to honor Don and will be awarded to students who lost a parent during service in either the military or as a first responder per Don’s wishes after his decorated career in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Considered the “Jackie Robinson of Clarkson Hockey” as one of the first black players in U.S. collegiate hockey, Seale was a big, strong, talented athlete. The imposing 6-2, 195-pound defenseman from St. John, New Brunswick, Seale won numerous awards and anchored the Golden Knights defensive corps on teams that showcased some of the best hockey in the nation. His teams amassed 60 victories and a .896 winning percentage from 1954-57.
In his first year of varsity competition for the Knights, Seale played in all 22 games of the 1954-55 campaign, helping the Green and Gold to an 18-4 record.
One of the most renowned seasons in college hockey history happened during 1955-56 when Seale helped Clarkson to a 23-0 mark, the first perfect campaign in the NCAA since 1947. The Knights capped off the remarkable feat by defeating arch-rival St. Lawrence 7-4 in Potsdam.
Seale skated in all 23 games, scored two goals and 10 points in the undefeated season. His first career goal was the opening score in a 5-2 victory over Boston College on February 17 at Clarkson Arena.
Retired Athletic Director Steve Yianoukos ‘72 shared more about Don Seale’s time as a Golden Knight and his career at the time of his induction in Clarkson’s Athletic Hall of Fame in this short documentary.
A private family service will be held at the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood in Ottawa, at a later date. Online condolences and memories can be made at https://beechwoodottawa.ca/en/services/carl-donald-joseph-seale.