Physical Therapy and Physical Therapist Assistant Students from Across the United States Raise More Than $266K for Physical Therapy Research

Physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students from more than 150 schools joined forces for the 2018-2019 Pitt-Marquette Challenge, fundraising $266,019 for physical therapy research.

The student efforts bring the Pitt-Marquette Challenge’s lifetime fundraising total to $4.3 million.

ALEXANDRIA, VA (June 13, 2019) – Physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students from more than 150 schools joined forces this school year to raise $266,019 for physical therapy research. Now in its 31st year, the annual Marquette Challenge is a student-led fundraiser to benefit the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research.

Funds raised through the Challenge go towards physical therapy research grants and scholarships and support the rigorous scientific review process that helps the Foundation identify the most promising new investigators. Since 2002, 27 research grants and scholarships have been awarded in the name of the Challenge. Funds from the Challenge also helped fund a recent high priority research grant to look at physical therapy interventions for older adults suffering from multiple chronic conditions.

“Most of the students who participate in the Challenge will not become researchers,” said Sarah Andrews, SPT, a student coordinator for the University of Pittsburgh. “They fundraise because Foundation-funded research advances physical therapy. It’s our way to give forward to our future profession.”

Top fundraising schools and special awards were announced on June 13, 2019, at the Foundation’s Awards Luncheon held during the 2019 American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) NEXT Conference and Exposition in Chicago. The luncheon was cohosted by Marquette University and sponsored by the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT).

The top 3 fundraising schools for the 2018-2019 Pitt-Marquette Challenge were Virginia Commonwealth University ($34,327), the University of Pittsburgh ($22,648), and the University of Delaware ($18,323).

The Foundation also recognizes Marquette University students for their steadfast support of the Challenge in raising $25,000.

Awards of Excellence were presented to New York University, Sacred Heart University, The Ohio State University, and the University of Miami for raising more than $10,000 each. Boston University, Emory University, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and the University of Colorado raised more than $6,000 each earning the Award of Merit. The Foundation also recognized the following schools for their efforts:

Honorable Mention Schools Raising $3,000 or More

Arcadia University

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences

MCPHS University

Northwestern University

Saint Louis University

Shenandoah University

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Iowa

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of Central Arkansas

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Washington University in St. Louis

William Carey University

Most Successful PT Newcomer

Georgia Southern University

Biggest Stretch

Sacred Heart University

Most Successful PTA School

Somerset Community College

Most Creative

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences

“The List”

2018-2019 Pitt-Marquette Challenge

Participating Schools:

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences; Alabama State University; American International College; Andrews University; Azusa Pacific State University; Briar Cliff University; California State University, Sacramento; Clarkson College; Clarkson University; Cleveland State University; College of St. Scholastica; Columbia University; Community College of Rhode Island; Creighton University; Daemen College; DeSales University; Dominican College of Blauvelt; Drexel University; Duke University; East Tennessee State University; Elon University; Emory and Henry College; Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University; Franklin Pierce University; Georgia State University; Grand Valley State University; Hazard Comm & Tech College / Southeast Kentucky Comm & Tech; High Point University; Husson University; Indiana University; Ithaca College; Keiser University – Ft. Lauderdale; Loma Linda University; Long Island University – Brooklyn Campus; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center- Shreveport; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans; Marquette University; Marshall University; Marymount University; Maryville University of St. Louis; Mercy College; Midwestern University – Downers Grove; Misericordia University; Mount St. Joseph University; Naugatuck Valley Community College; Nazareth College of Rochester; New York Medical College; Northeastern University; Northern Arizona University; Oakton Community College; Ohio University; Old Dominion University; Pacific University; PIMA Medical School – Seattle; Plymouth State University; Polk State College; Providence College; Quinnipiac University; Regis University; Rutgers University – North; Rutgers University – South; Seminole State College of Florida; Seton Hall University; Shawnee State University; Simmons University; Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania; Springfield College; St. Ambrose University; Stockton University; Stony Brook University; Temple University; Texas Woman’s University – Houston; The Chesapeake Area Consortium for Higher Education Physical Therapist Assistant Program; The George Washington University; The Sage Colleges; The University of Findlay; Thomas Jefferson University; Touro College; Touro University Nevada; University of Alaska – Anchorage; University of California, San Francisco; University of Cincinnati; University of Connecticut; University of Evansville; University of Florida; University of Hartford; University of Jamestown; University of Kansas Medical Center; University of Kentucky; University of Lynchburg; University of Minnesota; University of Mississippi Medical Center; University of Nebraska Medical Center; University of New England; University of New Mexico; University of North Dakota; University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus; University of Puerto Rico at Humacao; University of Puerto Rico at Ponce; University of Rhode Island; University of Saint Francis; University of Saint Mary; University of Santo Tomas; University of Scranton; University of South Carolina – Columbia; University of South Florida; University of Southern California; University of St. Augustine – Miami; University of St. Augustine – San Marcos; University of St. Augustine – Austin; University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; University of Texas at El Paso; University of the Sciences; University of Toledo; University of Utah; University of Vermont; University of Washington; University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee; Utica College; West Virginia University; Western Michigan University; Western University of Health Sciences; Widener University; Wingate University; Winston Salem University; Youngstown State University.

“There is a friendly competition between schools to see who can fundraise the most,“ said McKayla Figueroa, SPT, a student coordinator for Marquette University. “But the most important thing is just to participate at any level. We’re all connected by a shared passion for helping people through physical therapy.”

The 2019-2020 VCU-Marquette Challenge will kick off at the APTA National Student Conclave taking place October 31-November 2, 2019, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information, visit

The Foundation for Physical Therapy was established in 1979 as a national, independent nonprofit organization to fund physical therapy research to optimize health and movement. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships and scholarships. Many of today’s leading physical therapy researchers, clinicians, and academicians began their careers with this support. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to secure more than $824 million in follow-on funding.

To donate or learn more, visit or call 800/875-13678.




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