Institutional Advancement

Barton Experiences Made Possible by You: Chase Eaton, Class of 2024

With a dedication that extends beyond the track and into the heart of healthcare, Chase Eaton (’24) exemplifies the spirit of a young visionary, propelled by both the fervor of athletic triumphs and the compassionate calling of medicine. At just 22, his journey of resilience, ambition, and gratitude is nothing short of inspiring.

Born and raised in Wilson, Chase’s connection to Barton runs deep. Childhood summers were a montage of memories spent on Barton’s campus with his brother at basketball camps, an experience that not only ignited a passion for sports, but instilled in him the value of teamwork. When Chase was in high school, he discovered he loved running track and jumping hurdles. For the remainder of his high school career, Chase continued crafting his skill, ultimately earning a generous scholarship offer from Barton’s track program his senior year. Barton stood apart from other schools he was considering, but in all the right ways. “One of the most attractive aspects of Barton was the small classroom sizes and the opportunity to build connections with faculty,”  he shares. “Having that network as a student is very important.” 

Pursuing a double major in Biology and Health Promotion, plus a minor in Honors Research, Chase has his sights set on medical school. He draws inspiration from his late father’s legacy, a psychiatrist, and his mother, a former social worker. “Growing up, having that exposure to the medical field helped increase my empathic nature,” he says. “I’ve always been interested in the human body and wanted to help others.”

Beyond the classroom, Chase broadens his skillset with immersive hands-on opportunities. In 2021, he earned his Basic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B) certification and has since worked part-time with Nash County EMS. Shortly after joining Nash County EMS, Chase earned his Advanced EMT (AEMT) certification in 2022.

Photo credits: Nash County EMS

Alongside his role as an EMT, Chase interns with the Area L AHEC Scholars program, serves as a mentor with the Foundation YMCA’s Y-GIG Afterschool program, assists the UNC-Nash Junior Volunteer program, and shadows a trauma surgeon at Atrium Wake Forest Baptist Hospital.

Photo credit: Area L AHEC

As Chase prepares to take the MCAT, the standardized medical school entrance exam, in April, he acknowledges the value of his rigorous academic coursework in preparing him for this pivotal phase of his life. “Working simultaneously on multiple pathways, such as my Biology and Health Promotion degrees, has been incredibly beneficial,” he shares. “Now, I feel more equipped to enter medical school.” Looking ahead, his long-term vision is to return to Nash or Wilson County after completing medical school, with a goal of establishing a Level 1 Trauma Center to address the healthcare needs of his community. “Having witnessed firsthand some of the calls at UNC-Nash, I believe that with more resources in these rural areas, care teams could provide enhanced treatment to patients, ultimately alleviating the strain on surrounding hospitals,” he expresses.

Soon approaching the bittersweet end to his undergraduate career at Barton College, Chase holds two recent accomplishments close to his heart, marking the pinnacle of his hard work so far. His unwavering dedication to his sport led him to breaking the school record in hurdles, while his steadfast commitment to academic excellence earned him the esteemed position of Chief Marshal at the 121st commencement ceremony last spring. Reflecting on his achievements, he humbly shares, “I work hard, and it is very rewarding to see that hard work pay off in many areas of my life.”

Chase feels an immense sense of gratitude for those who have made his Barton Experience possible. His perspective on receiving opportunities is deeply rooted in a commitment to reciprocate. He believes that if provided with a chance, it’s his responsibility to make the most of it, recognizing that there’s a purpose behind every opportunity granted to him. The investment made by individuals and the community in his education serves as a powerful motivator. “They are investing in me to become the best version of myself, so that I can hopefully come back and invest in someone else,” he expresses. Considering the stressors that many face in pursuing education, Chase is particularly grateful for the chance to focus on his studies without the burden of student debt. “Knowing that I’m able to continue my education without the stress of paying back student loans is something that I feel like I need to return in the future. My donors placed me in the door of opportunity and propelled me forward in my future endeavors – and now, it’s just up from here.”

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