The Foundation for Physical Therapy, Alexandria, Va,  recently annouced the winners of the  2010 Miami-Marquette Challenge. The challenge took root in 1989 as a grassroots fundraising effort coordinated and carried out by physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students across the country to support the Foundation for Physical Therapy.

A total of 62 schools participated in the effort, setting a new record by raising $260,380. The grand total donated in the past 22 years by the Challenge is $1,810,930. In the latest funding cycle, the Challenge funded a Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) I Scholarship to Meryl Alappattu, PT, DPT, of the University of Florida. Proceeds from the Challenge will also help to fund the $300,000 Clagett Family Research Grant, to be awarded later this year to a multidisciplinary research team investigating interventions for older adults living with multiple chronic conditions.

The first place winner was the University of Pittsburgh, who has won first place 14 times in Challenge history and raised $40,000 for this year. Sacred Heart University won second place, raising $30,265, and SUNY Upstate Medical University won third place, raising $18,273.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and Virginia Commonwealth University received the award of merit for raising $6,000 or more. Emory University, Midwestern University and the University of Miami received the Award of Excellence for raising more than $10,000.

Honorable Mention was given to 21 schools for raising more than $3,000: Arcadia University; Boston University – Sargent College; Drexel University; Duke University Medical Center; Governors State University; Mayo School of Health Science; MGH Institute of Health Professions; Northwestern University; Quinnipiac University; Somerset Community College; Temple University; UMDNJ-SHRP and Rutgers University at Camden; University of Alabama at Birmingham; University of Colorado Denver; University of Delaware; University of Evansville; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Oklahoma; University of Southern California; University of Wisconsin – Madison; and Washington University in St Louis.

Three schools received recognition with the special awards. Somerset Community College was awarded the Most Successful PTA School for the third consecutive year. In addition to their first place title, the University of Pittsburgh was awarded the Biggest Stretch Award for demonstrating the most improvement in their fundraising effort over the last year. Bellarmine University was named Most Successful Newcomer. The list of all participating schools can be found on the Foundation’s Web site.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy also announced a new category of awards to honor schools that have participated year after year: the Marquette Challenge Philanthropy Circle. Each school in the Marquette Challenge Philanthropy Circle has participated for 10 years or more.

Three schools joined the Cornerstone Society of the Marquette Challenge Philanthropy Circle by raising a minimum of $50,000 over the years: Emory University, Northwestern University, and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

The Challenge Society award was presented to the University of Miami for donating at least $100,000 over the years. The University of Miami has participated in the Challenge since 1989.

The school that founded the Marquette Challenge, Marquette University, received the Collegiate Society award for donating $200,000 since the Challenge first began.

The highest level of recognition in the Marquette Challenge Philanthropy Circle is the Champion Society, presented to a school that has donated at least $300,000 and participated in the Challenge for 10 years or more: the University of Pittsburgh. As the winner of the 2010 Challenge, the University of Pittsburgh will serve as co-host of the 2011 Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge when it kicks off at the APTA National Student Conclave on October 29, 2010 in Cherry Hill, NJ.