Nathan Mermilliod

Nathan Mermilliod ’24 Discusses His Life Beyond the Chess Board The biological science major helped rebuild Chapman’s chess club.

Nathan Mermilliod ’24, a biological science major with a minor in leadership studies and molecular biology, was instrumental in revitalizing Chapman’s Chess Club.

“The Chess Club hadn’t met in years after Leo Eifert, a student who started the Chess Club, passed away,” said Mermilliod. “I worked with Dr. Fred Caporaso, who was the previous advisor of the chess club, to continue rebuilding the group.”

After coordinating with numerous Chapman faculty members, Mermilliod and the Chess Club successfully resurrected the Leo Eifert Memorial Tournament. The Memorial Tournament, a long-time Chapman tradition, was held to honor Leo Eifert, but stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Chess Club partnered with the Leonardo Eifert Endowed Scholarship for Imaginative Applications of Mathematics to raise donations for students interested in mathematics,” said Mermilliod. “It was exciting to learn that we raised over $300 for the scholarship.”

Under Mermilliod’s leadership, the Chess Club became one of the most vibrant student organizations on campus, reaching more than 300 members.

“I thought it was likely that there were many Chapman students interested in chess club after seeing the turnout for our first tournament,” said Mermilliod. “I gathered a group of people interested in an executive board and we started holding weekly meetings and monthly tournaments in the Ideation Zone in Swenson Hall.”

Beyond his contributions to campus life, Mermilliod is deeply committed to advocacy, particularly in the realm of health care. As someone who lives with hemophilia B, a rare bleeding disorder, Mermilliod understands the challenges and obstacles faced by individuals with similar conditions.

“I want to be a hematologist oncologist,” said Mermilliod. “My life mission is to help the bleeding disorders community. I want to support advocacy efforts in more ways than just public speaking, but also help individuals and families on the front lines.”

Despite the demands of managing his health, Mermilliod has been actively involved in supporting communities both locally and nationally.

“I want to support the bleeding disorders community in every way possible to help improve the lives of everyone affected by these conditions,” added Mermilliod.

Mermilliod also volunteers at organizations such as Higher Grounds Youth and Family Services, where he has helped introduce STEM activities to low-income families, inspiring young minds and fostering a passion for science.

“This all goes to say that I love planning events and organizing teams,” said Mermilliod. “It’s part of the reason I minored in leadership.” 

Paul Pe

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