Students Give Forward to the Physical Therapy Profession

The Marquette Challenge is a grassroots, student-led fundraising effort that supports the mission of the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research
(FPTR). Each year, hundreds of physical therapist (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) students, with the support of their program directors and community, hold fundraising events across the United States.

When students participate in the Challenge they connect with research in a meaningful way. This year is no different. Help your students stay connected with their programs, their community, and their profession by participating in the Marquette Challenge.

5 Steps to Get Started 

  • Identify a lead Challenge Coordinator and team to start planning events. Your team can help connect classmates. Further, students can learn more about the profession and build their professional networks.

  • Brainstorm ideas! The Challenge is successful thanks to the creativity of students. Looking for inspiration? Visit our student toolkit or blog. 

  • Plan your events for the year. The most successful programs host events throughout the year or plan a “signature” event that brings families and students together.

  • Plan a launch event with students and special guests. Since 1979, the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research has funded 640+ researchers. Invite someone from your school or network who is a current or past funding recipient.

  • Have fun! In these challenging times your Challenge events — even those held virtually — can bring people together around a good cause.

Challenge Competition

Physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students across the U.S. host creative competitive fundraisers for the Marquette Challenge each year. These fundraising events connect students with physical therapy research in a meaningful way and make it possible for the Foundation to fund scholarships, fellowships, and research grants.

  • Competitive trivia night

  • “Pie Your Professor” contest

  • Team treasure hunts

  • Outdoor field days

  • Cornhole tournaments

Get Moving for PT

The Marquette Challenge benefits the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research, a nonprofit that funds physical therapy research to optimize health and movement. Challenge events that get the community moving are a great fit. Some outdoor events, like a 5K, require permits and permissions. Others, like a dance or yoga class, can be led by an instructor who can help you organize your event.

  • Run for PT 5k or 10k

  • Outdoor bicycling course or virtual indoor spin class

  • Virtual yoga class

  • Golf or putting tournament

Keep Learning for PT

Continuing education courses and community classes are another great fit for Marquette Challenge fundraisers. Supportive faculty and staff may be able to support the organization of an approved continuing education course. However, students can also organize non-accredited classes for the community at large.

  • Continuing education courses

  • Virtual painting or drawing courses

  • Virtual baking classes

  • Documentary screening

  • Craft or needlework night

A Night on the Town

The impact the Marquette Challenge has had on physical therapy research is cause for celebration. With more than $4.5 million raised and 26 research grants and scholarships, the Marquette Challenge raises more funds each year than any other Foundation for Physical Therapy activity. Kick back and throw a party to generate donations this year.

  • Masquerade or costume night

  • Ugly holiday sweater party

  • Photo or art exhibition

  • Online silent auction