Colorado PT Students Help Break Record in 2016 Fundraising Challenge

By: McKayla Figueroa, SPT 

Students from PT programs in Colorado were among students from 150 schools that participated in the record-breaking 2015-2016 Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge, raising $354,320, the highest annual total in the history of the fundraiser. Since its inception in 1989, 264 schools have participated in the Marquette Challenge and have raised a cumulative total of $3.3 million for the Foundation. 

The Foundation wishes to thank the physical therapy students of Regis University and University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus for raising $11,266 in support of the Challenge. The record-breaking success of the Challenge would not be possible without their valued contribution. Notably, the students of University of Colorado received an Award of Merit for raising over $6,000. 

This year’s top fundraisers include:

  • 1st Place: Virginia Commonwealth University
  • 2nd Place: Mercer University
  • 3rd Place: University of Pittsburgh

As the top fundraiser, Virginia Commonwealth University will serve as co-host for the 2016-2017 VCU-Marquette Challenge, which is underway.

The Challenge annually supports grants, scholarships and the rigorous peer review process which results in the awarding of all Foundation scholarships and grants. Karin Grävare Silbernagel, PT, PhD, ATC an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware, is the recipient of the 2015 Pittsburgh-Marquette Research Grant. Her project will examine Achilles tendon ruptures and the evaluation of their recovery. The Challenge also funded a PODS I Scholarship in 2016, which was awarded to Allison Gustavson (Kosir), PT, DPT of the University of Colorado - Anschutz Medical Campus. 

Faculty and students of PT and PTA programs in the state of Colorado are encouraged to visit the Foundation’s Web site at to learn how they can support the Foundation for Physical Therapy and physical therapy research through the VCU-Marquette Challenge. Contributions for the 2016-2017 VCU-Marquette Challenge should be submitted by the April 27th, 2017 deadline. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at or sent to its headquarters at 1111 N Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA 22314.  

About the Foundation for Physical Therapy

The Foundation for Physical Therapy was established in 1979 as a national, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of physical therapy care by providing support for scientifically-based and clinically-relevant physical therapy research and doctoral scholarships and fellowships.

Over the last 37 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships, and post professional doctoral scholarships to more than 576 emerging scientists. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to receive an estimated $753 million in external funding from the National Institutes of Health and other sources. Many of today’s leading and emerging physical therapist researchers, clinicians, and academicians began their careers with a grant or scholarship from the Foundation.  

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For more information, email [email protected] or call (800)-875-1378.