Mercer-Marquette Challenge Participants Pictured with Foundation BOT President Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA

ALEXANDRIA, VA (July 5, 2018) – Future physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA) rallied across the country to set a record-breaking year for the Mercer-Marquette Challenge. The annual student-led fundraiser benefits the Foundation for Physical Therapy – a national nonprofit that funds physical therapy research to optimize health and movement.

The Marquette Challenge was launched in 1989 to support the Foundation and fund research grants and scholarships. Now in its 30th year, the Marquette Challenge has raised more than $4 million to aid the Foundation in its mission. Students from 178 schools raised $328,456 in the 2017-2018 fundraising cycle – a record number of participating schools and the third year running that the program has raised more than $300,000.

Top fundraising schools were announced on June 28 at the Foundation’s Awards Luncheon held during the 2018 American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) NEXT Conference and Exposition in Orlando, FL. The luncheon was co-hosted by Marquette University.

The University of Pittsburgh took top honors, winning first place and naming rights for the next Challenge cycle by raising $50,552.

“It has been incredible to witness the dedication these students show towards their future profession and the Foundation,” said Foundation Board of Trustees President, Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA. “These students – and the faculty who encourage this passion – understand that we must invest in research and researchers to keep improving and demonstrating the value of physical therapy services.”

The money raised by PT and PTA students helps fund scholarships and grants that advance patient care. Additionally, the Challenge also supports the rigorous scientific review process for all Foundation grants and scholarships. Since 2002, 26 research grants and scholarships have been awarded in the name of the annual Challenge. In 2010, the Challenge also partially funded the $300,000 Clagett Family Research Grant, a high priority research grant that looks at physical therapy interventions for older adults suffering from multiple chronic conditions.

The 2018-2019 Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge kicks off at the National Student Conclave in Providence, Rhode Island on October 11. For more information, visit

Congratulations to the top performing schools of this year’s Mercer-Marquette Challenge:

First Place: University of Pittsburgh
Second Place: Virginia Commonwealth University
Third Place: University of Colorado

The Foundation recognizes Marquette University students for their steadfast support of the Challenge in raising more than $20,000.

Award of DistinctionSchools raising $20,000 or more
Mercer University
University of Miami

Award of ExcellenceSchools raising $10,000 or more
University of Delaware

Award of MeritSchools raising $6,000 or more
Emory University
Northwestern University
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Wingate University

Honorable Mention— Schools raising $3,000 or more
Arcadia University, Boston University, Indiana University, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, MCPHS University, MGH Institute of Health Professions, New York University, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Somerset Community College, The Ohio State University, The University of Illinois at Chicago, The University of Iowa, University of Central Arkansas, University of New England, Washington University in St. Louis

Special Awards
Most Successful PT Newcomer: William Carey University
Most Successful PTA Newcomer: PIMA Medical Institute – Tucson
Biggest Stretch School: Emory University
Most Creative Fundraiser: Saint Louis University
Most Successful PTA School: Somerset Community College

The Foundation also recognizes the following schools who participated:

A.T. Still University, Adventist University of Health Sciences, Alabama State University, Angelo State University, Athens Technical College, Augusta University, Azusa Pacific University, Bellarmine University, Bishop State Community College, Bossier Parish Community College, Bradley University, Briar Cliff University; California State University, Northridge; California State University, Sacramento, Campbell University, Chattanooga State Community College, Clarkson University, Cleveland State University, College of Southern Nevada, College of St. Scholastica, College of Western Idaho, Columbia University, Concordia University at St. Paul, Daemen College, Des Moines University, DeSales University, Dixie State University, Dominican College, Drexel University, D’Youville College, East Carolina University, Eastern Washington University, East Tennessee State University, Elgin Community College, Elon University, Emory and Henry College, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Florida International University, Franklin Pierce University – Goodyear, Gannon University, George Fox University, Georgia State University, Governors State University, Grand Valley State University, Hazard Community & Technical College/Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College, High Point, Hunter College, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, Ithaca College, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Kaskaskia College, Keiser University – Ft. Lauderdale, Lone Star College – Montgomery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, Lynchburg College, Marquette University, Martin Community College, Marymount University, Maryville University of Saint Louis, Methodist University, Mercy College, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Midwestern University, Misericordia University, Missouri State University, Mount Hood Community College, Mount St. Joseph University, Mount St. Mary’s University, Nassau Community College, Navarro College, Nazareth College of Rochester, New England Institute of Technology, Northern Arizona University, Northern Illinois University, Northeastern University, Nova Southeastern University, Oakland University, Old Dominion University, Pacific University, PIMA Medical Institute – Denver, PIMA Medical Institute – Seattle, Presbyterian College, Quinnipiac University, Regis University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (North); Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (South); Sacred Heart University, Samford University, Samuel Merritt University, San Diego State University, Seminole State College of Florida, Seton Hall University, Simmons College, Southwest Baptist University, Springfield College, St. Ambrose University, Stockton University, Stony Brook University, Tennessee State University, Texas State University, Texas Woman’s University – Dallas, Texas Woman’s University – Houston, The George Washington University, The University of Toledo, Thomas Jefferson University, Touro College, University at Buffalo, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, University of Central Florida, University of Cincinnati, University of Florida, University of Hartford, University of Indianapolis, University of Kansas Medical Center, University of Kentucky, University of Maryland – Baltimore, University of Maryland Medical Center, University of Minnesota, University of Mississippi at the Medical Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of North Dakota, University of North Texas Health Science Center – Fort Worth, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, University of the Pacific, University of Rhode Island, University of Scranton, University of South Carolina – Columbia, University of Southern California, University of St. Augustine – Austin, University of St. Augustine – Miami, University of St. Augustine – San Marcos, University of St. Augustine – St. Augustine, University of St. Mary, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of Texas at El Paso, University of Texas Medical Branch, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, University of the Incarnate Word, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, University of the West Indies, University of Vermont, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Utica College, West Coast University, Western University of Health Sciences, Widener University, and Youngstown State University.

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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