ALEXANDRIA, VA (June 26, 2017) – Physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students from across the country were recognized for their fundraising efforts through the 2016-2017 VCU-Marquette Challenge at APTA’s NEXT Conference and Exposition in Boston, Massachusetts on June 22nd. Top fundraising schools were announced during the Foundation’s Awards Luncheon co-hosted by Marquette University and sponsored by Performance Health. Students also received recognition during the Foundation’s 2017 Boston PT Party. Students from 146 schools raised $340,986 to support physical therapy research, with a record amount of returning schools.

Mercer University took top honors, winning first place and naming rights for the next Challenge by raising $45,220. The 2017-2018 Mercer-Marquette Challenge kicks off at the National Student Conclave in Portland, Oregon on October 19.

“It has been incredible to witness the continued support and commitment physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students show towards their future profession and the Foundation,” said Foundation Board of Trustees President, Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA. “Their efforts generously support research grants and scholarships that are so important for the field of physical therapy to progress. The students’ dedication and enthusiasm helps make our work possible. Thank you to all of the faculty who emphasize the importance of physical therapy research and continue to encourage students to go above and beyond when participating in the Challenge.”

The Challenge is the largest annual student-driven fundraising effort for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research. 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 its inception in 1989, the total funds raised by students through the Challenge is over $3.7 million.

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

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

The Foundation would like to recognize Marquette University students for their steadfast support of the Challenge in raising over $20,000.

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

Award of ExcellenceSchools raising $10,000 or more
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Central Arkansas
University of Delaware

Award of MeritSchools raising $6,000 or more
Duke University
New York University
Northwestern University
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
The University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Colorado

Honorable Mention— Schools raising $3,000 or more
Arcadia University, Boston University, Emory University, Indiana University, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, MCPHS University, Midwestern University – Downers Grove, Northeastern University, Regis University, Somerset Community College, The Ohio State University, The University of Iowa, Washington University in St. Louis, Wingate University

Special Awards

Most Successful PT Newcomer: Radford University
Most Successful PTA Newcomer: College of DuPage
Biggest Stretch School: University of Central Arkansas
Most Creative Fundraiser: University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences – Texas
Most Successful PTA School: Somerset Community College

The Foundation also recognizes the following schools who participated:

Angelo State University, American International College, Arkansas State University, A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, Athens Technical College, Bellarmine University, California State University – Long Beach, Campbell University, Chattanooga State Community College, Clarkson College, Clarkson University, Cleveland State University, College of St. Scholastica, Columbia University, Creighton University, DeSales University, Dominican College, Drexel University, East Tennessee State University, Eastern Washington University, Elgin Community College, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University, Florida National University, Fox College, Governors State University, Grand Valley State University, Hardin-Simmons University, Hazard Community & Technical College/Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College, Herkimer County Community College, Hunter College, Idaho State University, Indiana State University, Ithaca College, Kilgore College, Lake Area Technical Institute, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Loma Linda University, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, Marquette University, Marymount University, Maryville University of Saint Louis, Medical University of South Carolina, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Midwestern University – Glendale, Misericordia University, Morton College, Nassau Community College, Nazareth College of Rochester, Northern Arizona University, Northern Illinois University, Nova Southeastern University, Oakton Community College, Ohio University, Pacific University, Quinnipiac University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (North); Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (South); Saint Louis University, San Diego State University, Seminole State College of Florida, Simmons College, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Southwestern Illinois College, Springfield College, St. Ambrose University, Stockton University, Stony Brook University, Temple University, Texas State University, Texas Technical University Health Sciences Center, Texas Woman’s University, Texas Woman’s University – Houston, The George Washington University, The Pennsylvania State University – Shenango, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, The University of Findlay, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Thomas Jefferson University, Touro College, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; University of Buffalo, State University of New York; University of Central Florida, University of Cincinnati, University of Florida, University of Hartford, University of the Incarnate Word, University of Kentucky, University of Mary, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska Medical Center; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of New England, University of North Dakota, University of North Georgia, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, University of Rhode Island, University of Saint Francis, University of South Florida, University of Southern California, University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences – Florida, University of Vermont, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin – Madison, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, US Army-Baylor University, Utica College, West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Western University of Health Sciences, Widener University, and Youngstown State University.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research 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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