Chase Harlan arrived at Missouri Military Academy in 1986 for his sophomore year of high school. He graduated with the Centennial Class in 1989 as Alpha Company commander. During his time at MMA, Chase was battalion diving champion and a member of the varsity swim team; he also played soccer and enjoyed a variety of other sports. He served as art editor of At Ease literary magazine and worked on the Taps yearbook staff. Today, Chase is leaving the Harlan imprint on the entertainment industry. As a production designer in film and television, he has created the visual concept for several of TV’s biggest hit shows such as Entourage, Ballers, Empire — and even the Academy Awards. For these and many other accomplishments, he is inducted into the 2023 MMA Hall of Fame for Arts and Sciences.
Chase’s original plans after graduation from MMA were to join the Navy ROTC program and major in engineering at Syracuse University in New York. But fate intervened when his MMA art teacher, Becky Erdel, gave him a brochure about the world-famous Parsons School of Design, reminding him that art was his real passion. That last-minute change of plans sent Chase to New York City on a new path to the entertainment business. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in product design at Parsons, he picked up a record deal with Atlantic Records and headed to Los Angeles, where he began freelancing as an art director for film and TV projects before moving into production design.
Although Chase’s direction in life after MMA has been somewhat different from most of his brothers, the education he received at the Academy served as a springboard, giving him confidence and comfort in communicating in front of diverse groups of people in different languages, allowing him to achieve great things in a high-pressure and chaotic environment. It is our honor to recognize his accomplishments with his induction into the MMA Hall of Fame.