Marquette Challenge

Marquette Challenge

Marquette University PT students initiated The Marquette Challenge in 1989 as a fundraising effort to support physical therapy research through the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research. MUPT students challenge others at PT and PTA national programs to raise money for PT research.

  • The student organization that raises the greatest amount is declared the Challenge winner and is invited to co-host the Challenge the following year.
  • Prizes are awarded to the top three schools and to schools reaching the Award of Excellence, Award of Merit and Honorable Mention categories.
  • All participating schools are recognized in the media, at the Challenge Luncheon and the Foundation Gala during APTA’s NEXT Conference.
  • The Challenge is the largest ongoing fundraising program for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research completely run by students.

In 2018, University of Pittsburgh raised $50,552 to win 1st Place and in doing so earns the right to co-host the Challenge next year with Marquette as the 2018-2019 Pitt–Marquette Challenge.

  • Virginia Commonwealth University took the second place prize raising $40,955.
  • The University of Pittsburgh raised $30,111 placing 3rd.

Students from 178 programs participated to raise a total of $328,456 in the 2017-2018 Mercer-Marquette Challenge. In 30 years of the Marquette Challenge, PT and PTA students nation-wide have now raised over 4 million dollars for physical therapy research.

The Marquette Challenge Philanthropy Circle is a category of awards given to top schools that have participated in the Challenge for 10 years or more. It recognizes cumulative giving through the annual Challenge by schools.

The Cornerstone Society of the Marquette Challenge Philanthropy Circle is awarded to those schools raising a minimum of $50,000 over the years: Arcadia University, Indiana University, Midwestern University – Downers Grove, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Northwestern University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Colorado and Washington University in St. Louis. The Challenge Society award includes Emory University, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, University of Colorado, and University of Delaware for donating at least $100,000 over the years.

The Collegiate Society is awarded to  Virginia Commonwealth University for raising $200,000 or more over the years. Marquette University and University of Miami belongs to the Champion Society for donating $300,000 for a total of 10 years.

The highest level of recognition in the Marquette Challenge Philanthropy Circle is the Leaders Society, for schools that have donated at least $600,000 and participated in the Challenge for 10 years or more: The University of Pittsburgh is the sole member of the Leaders Society.

Get On the List!

If your school wishes to step up to the 2018-2018 Pitt–Marquette Challenge and raise money for PT research, contact the following student coordinators at You can also check out the Foundation’s website on the Challenge to learn more.

Marquette Challenge Coordinators

Daniel Bendel

Carrie Schmitz

Marquette University Faculty Co-Advisors

Sheila Schindler-Ivens, PT, Ph.D.