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.