Alumnus Donald (Don) Seiler, BS 49, MBA 50, a longtime friend of the accounting program at Berkeley-Haas, passed away Aug. 3 at his Atherton home. He was 83.
After earning his Berkeley degrees, Seiler, a San Francisco native, spent time as an accountant in the 1950s before founding Seiler and Company (now Seiler, LLP), a regional accounting and advisory firm, in 1957.
Seiler was involved with real estate, venture capital, not-for-profit and for-profit business operations. His professional board service included Ross Stores from 1982 to 2012 and Greater Bay Bancorp from 1985 to 2006.
Seiler, who believed very deeply in giving back to the community, established an academic chair at Berkeley-Haas in 1995 and served on the Haas Board, which advises the dean, from 2006 to 2009. He also served on the board of the Haas School's Center for Financial Reporting and Management, actively helping to shape the accounting program and curriculum at Berkeley-Haas.
"We are saddened by the loss of Don Seiler. He leaves behind a strong legacy at Berkeley-Haas," says Professor Patricia Dechow, who currently holds the Donald H. and Ruth F. Seiler Chair in Public Accounting. "Our students will continue to be influenced by his philanthropy both through the success of Seiler LLP and through his involvement with the accounting program at the University. I have benefitted from Don’s generosity by holding of the chair established by Don and Ruth, which has allowed me to substantially advance my academic research."
Seiler's philanthropy and volunteerism also extended to the Peninsula Community Foundation, Stanford Medical Center, and the Jewish Community Federation, among other groups. Seiler received the 1989 Community Service Award from the California Society of Certified Public Accountants for his charitable work and awards for other charitable activities.