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 (FPTR). 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 nationally on the FPTR website,on the Challenge microsite, a full-page Ad in PT Motion, an article in PTJ and the Foundation’s virtual Awards Celebration.
  • The Challenge is the largest ongoing fundraising program for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research completely run by students.

In 2022, Virginia Commonwealth University raised $23,053.72 to win 1st Place and in doing so earns the right to co-host the Challenge next year with Marquette in the 2022-2023 VCU–Marquette Challenge.

  • University of Delaware took the second place prize raising $20,050.04.
  • University of Miami raised $17,344.30 placing 3rd.

Students from 79 programs participated to raise a total of $170,221.98 in the 2021-2022 VCU-Marquette Challenge. In over 30 years of the Marquette Challenge, PT and PTA students nation-wide have now raised over 4.6 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, Boston University, Indiana University, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Midwestern University – Downers Grove, Northwestern University, The Ohio State University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Washington University in St. Louis. The Challenge Society award includes Emory University, New York 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 Champion Society is awarded to the University of Miami and Virginia Commonwealth University for raising $300,000 or more over the years. Marquette University belongs to the Crest Society for donating over $400,000 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 2022-2023 VCU–Marquette Challenge and raise money for PT research, contact the following student coordinators at You can also check out the Marquette Challenge website to learn more.

Marquette Challenge Coordinators

Daniel Bendel, SPT

Carrie Schmitz, SPT

Marquette University Faculty Co-Advisors

Sheila Schindler-Ivens, PT, Ph.D.