2024 Laker Ripple Award winner, Eloise Irvine!

Detroit Lakes Public Schools is pleased to announce its first-ever Laker Ripple Award winner, Eloise Irvine, who was nominated for the 2024 Award.

The Laker Ripple Award was established to recognize outstanding achievements, endeavors, leadership, and character of distinguished Detroit Lakes Public Schools alumni. The award is based on the message depicted in the Laker Ripple Effect mural in the high school commons created by Hans and Mary Beth Gilsdorf, which symbolizes the impact Laker students can have in the world using what they have learned in Detroit Lakes. The quote by Marion Wright Edelman inspired the mural design and provides the foundation for this award: “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it."

Eloise Irvine, a proud 101-year-old, Class of 1940 Laker alumnus, was selected as the winner of the inaugural Laker Ripple Award in honor of the many positive ripples she has created in the Detroit Lakes area as an artist, mother of four Laker grads, political enthusiast, entrepreneur, and lifelong learner. One of the most obvious impacts Eloise has had on the community is in her design of the original Laker sailboat logo, which she created her senior year in 1940 at the request of then-principal George Simson. That sailboat logo, in various incarnations, can be seen to this day as the logo for Detroit Lakes Public Schools, the City of Detroit Lakes, Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce, and many local businesses and organizations, as well as being the iconic symbol representing Detroit Lakes in public art pieces throughout the community.

Besides the Laker sailboat, Eloise has made ripples in the Detroit Lakes business community, including running the Shady Hollow Flea Market and her own antique store, and also served in many local organizations such as the Damien Society, PEO, and Women’s Association of the Detroit Country Club. She and her husband, Bob “Irv” Irvine, were active in local politics in opposite parties, and hosted notable Minnesota politicians like Mondale and Humphrey. Eloise has an unending supply of colorful stories about her life and good times in DL. As her nominator Terry Kalil said, “She’s a living legend in pink cowboy boots!”

A special Laker Ripple Award presentation is planned where Eloise Irvine will be honored with a $1000 Laker Ripple Award Scholarship to be given in her name, which she will then present to a graduating DLHS senior selected for their volunteer work. This unique presentation will demonstrate the Lake Ripple Effect in action with a 1940 Laker alumnus who has made significant ripples in the community positively impacting a future 2024 Laker alumnus who is just starting to make ripples of their own. The combination award and scholarship will be presented at the Detroit Lakes Dollars for Scholars Scholarship Ceremony on May 6th at 6:30.

Eloise’s original design for the Laker logo in 1940

 

Eloise Irvine  (Jensen) Senior Photo

Eloise’s original design for the Laker logo in 1940 – and her senior picture from 1940

 

Eloise Irvine posing with a sailboat sculpture that included her original sailboat logo design as part of the public art project titled 150 Sails Up in DL that was done to celebrate Detroit Lakes’ Sesquicentennial in 2021.

Eloise Irvine posing with a sailboat sculpture that included her original sailboat logo design as part of the public art project titled 150 Sails Up in DL that was done to celebrate Detroit Lakes’ Sesquicentennial in 2021.