The Torchbearer statue stands tall at the entrance to Circle Park on the University of Tennessee campus.

An inscription at its base reads, “One that beareth a torch, shadoweth oneself to give light to others.”

Lady Vol rower Katie Porter embodies that spirit. She was named a 2018 Torchbearer, the highest honor the university gives to students. She is the first rower to receive the award and only the seventh student-athlete in the last 60 years.

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Saturday was busy for Porter, it began with graduation, receiving her degree in biological sciences.

Then she hit the water at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge for the Big 12 rowing championships. Her boat finished second.

But she’s used to busy days.

In addition to class and rowing, Porter organized service activities for UT’s pre-health honor society and participated in Clinic Vols, an organization of pre-health students that provide first aid and care for local elematary schools.

That experience will lead her into her next journey, med school at University of Central Florida. Porter wants to be a pediatrician.