Senior Bound for Harvard Medical School

Augustana senior Chase Marso will attend Harvard Medical School in the fall. 

Last year, more than 7,000 students applied to Harvard Medical School. Of those, 235 were admitted. That's an acceptance rate of just over 3 percent.

So it goes without saying that getting into Harvard is tough.

Chase Marso is tough, too — in the classroom and on the football field. And according to his teammates and coaches, he has a heart of gold.

Marso, who also plays quarterback for the Augustana Vikings, was accepted to Harvard earlier this year. Excited as he was about the news, he was also excited about the opportunity to lead the Vikings on the field next fall.

He asked Harvard to defer his enrollment for a fifth year of eligibility at Augustana. He recently learned his request was denied, which meant he had a decision to make: Pursue Harvard this fall, or pursue his dream of leading a team as starting quarterback. 

He chose Harvard. And today, he calls himself blessed.

"I am incredibly grateful for the love, support and guidance offered by my family, coaches, teammates and friends throughout this process ... I will undoubtedly miss the opportunity to compete alongside my teammates next fall, but I am excited for this new opportunity and challenge in my life, and will always be a Viking at heart," Marso said.

Marso plans to pursue a career as a physician in a field yet to be determined but he is interested in either orthopedics/sports medicine, cardiovascular/cardiothoracic or neurology (specifically concussions).

Head football coach Jerry Olszewski said the team is proud of Marso.

"Chase is a young man that does everything the right way and he has left his mark at Augustana in every way imaginable," Olszewski said. "Chase truly engaged himself in the fabric of Augustana and actively made a difference academically, athletically, spiritually, socially and lastly, as an incredible ambassador for the university. He is gifted in so many ways and that speaks volumes because of how humble he remains in the process. Though my prayers were that he would be granted deferment from Harvard Medical School, the truest prayer is that he continues to impact others in such a positive way in his journey. Augustana has been blessed with this young man and his influence on our campus. Though he will be leaving Augustana for Harvard, he will forever be a Viking."

Along with playing football at Augustana, Marso is involved in the Pre-Med Club while also serving as a student leader for Fellowship of Christian Athletes and as president of the Augustana Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. A biology major, he also works as a mentor at Hayward Elementary school and is a member of the Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society. Marso is from Brandon, South Dakota.