South Dakota Swimmer Josh Sorbe Awarded $30,000 Truman Scholarship

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 7

April 14th, 2019 News

University of South Dakota swimmer Josh Sorbe has been awarded a $30,000 Truman Scholarship. In addition to the money, Sorbe and other awardees receive priority admission to certain graduate and professional schools across the country.

Created by the U.S. Congress in 1975 in honor of the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, the award supports continued education of those wishing to pursue a career in public service leadership.

Sorbe and 61 others were chosen from among 199 finalists, and 840 original nominees, to receive the honor.

In the pool, Sorbe i s one of the best distance swimmers in program history. He ranks 6th in the school’s all-time rankings in the 500 free (4:36.80), 8th in the 1650 free (16:15.33), 8th in the 400 IM (4:08.09), and was the anchor on the school-record setting 800 free relay.

Outside of the pool, he’s a past president of the USD Student Government Association, interned with former United State Representative Tim Walz in Washington DC, and serves as the executive director of the South Dakota Student Federation.

“Josh exemplifies what it means to be a STUDENT-athlete,” said USD head swimming and diving coach Jason Mahowald. “He has consistently demonstrated that you can be a great leader on campus as well as on the athletic field. We are unbelievably excited for Josh to receive this honor, and know that he will continue to be a leader on our campus.”

In addition to the financial benefit, Scholars receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, demonstrate academic excellence, and be committed to careers in government or the non-profit sector.

Sorbe says that he plans to be a public school teacher in his native state of South Dakota after graduation.

Prior winners of the award include a veritable hall-of-fame of public service. Among the highlights of a list of name full of them are Janet Napolitano, the former Governor of Arizona and Secretary of Homeland Security (and current president of the University of California); New York City mayor Bill de Blasio; United States Supreme Court justice Neil Gorusch; Missouri governor Eric Greitens; and Wired magazine editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson.

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4 years ago

What an imporessive young man! This story should be pinned to the top of SwimSwam storyline so everyone can see it for a long time, rather than reading that Phelps makes babies every 3 months.

Reply to  PsychoDad
4 years ago

But he was standing behind Tiger Woods! That’s the story of the century, right there.

Hood Rich
4 years ago

Jish the Fish strikes again

4 years ago

Terrific honor!
Great role model for young swimmers!

4 years ago

Dang distance swimmers, always working hard and making the rest of us look lazy. Not content to stop outside of practice, either. What a stud.

4 years ago

Congrats to Josh’ Sorbe on his great accomplishment and to SwimSwam for reporting it.

When NCAA Division I sports and it’s fans has seemed to forget the aspiration of having students athletes this is inspirational.

Outside of the swimming community no one will care if Josh swam 500 free in 4:38 or 4:08, but they’ll be pretty impressed by the Truman Scholarship.

4 years ago


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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