2023 Pillars of the City of Austin unveiled during July 4th festivities at Bandshell Park

The 2023 Pillars of the City of Austin were named at Bandshell Park Tuesday evening as part of Freedom Fest activities for the 4th of July.  The Pillars of the City flood wall recognition project was established in 2015 with the goal to utilize the flood wall pillars on North Main Street to give recognition to people, in Austin’s past and present, who have made significant contributions to improving the quality of life in Austin related to growth, economic impact, health, education, culture, recreation, communications, business or scientific innovation.

The three individuals whose plaques were unveiled Tuesday evening included Rosalie Seltz, who taught English and Journalism at Austin High School from 1950 to 1993.  Seltz was the faculty advisor for student publications at Austin High School, and she received the lifetime achievement award from the Minnesota High School Press Association in 1989.  Also named a Pillar of the City of Austin Tuesday was Belita M. Schindler, whose work with the Austin Area Arts helped to establish the ArtWorks Center in its permanent building in downtown Austin.  Schindler was also a co-founder of the ArtWorks Festival and spearheaded the Historic Paramount Theater Expansion Committee.  The third plaque unveiled Tuesday evening was that of Dr. Ralph T. Holman, a former Director of the Hormel Institute who helped to pioneer work in the area of essential fatty acid research, food stabilization, and nutrition.

Past Pillars of the City of Austin have included George A. and Jay C. Hormel, Richard Knowlton, Dr. Richard J. Schindler and Jon Erichson in 2016, Ira James Holton, Gary Ray and Esther Morse in 2017, Robert Enright, Lyman Baird and Norm Hecimovich in 2018, Bonnie Rietz, Gertrude C. Ellis and John O’Rourke in 2019, Geraldine Rassmussen, Pat Piper and Larry Dolphin in 2020, Susan Grove, Olaf Hegge and Jacob Herzog in 2021, and Frank W. Bridges, Miguel Garate and Michael C. Ruzek in 2022.