Michael Djupstrom is the youngest White Bear Lake Area High School alumnus to be inducted into the White Bear Lake Area Alumni Association. There are 23 prior recipients, all graduating between 1927 and 1966, though anyone can be nominated 10 years after graduating. Djupstrom, a 1998 graduate, is an accomplished composer who describes his philosophy on creating music as being “alive and unpredictably dramatic as any human personality.” His compositions have garnered prestigious honors and awards, and been presented all around the world. “What makes Michael a standout is his age and his accomplishments,” says Deb Acheson Berry, vice president of the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation. “We really want to relate to the students,” Berry says—and Djupstrom makes that possible. Having a younger inductee with such great accomplishments allows the association to reach out to younger people and show them what is possible for their futures.
According to Berry, the goal of the White Bear Lake Alumni Association is to grow the membership base through alumni events and community outreach; the association occasionally hosts karaoke nights and casual homecoming gatherings to attract younger alums.