Skip to main content

Northwestern University Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences

Robert Babbs, Jr. Distinguished Alumnus

          robertbabbs_webversion.png    class-of-1957_circle.png 

 Watch Living History video on Robert Babbs Jr.

Since graduating from Northwestern University’s physical therapy program in 1957, Robert Babbs Jr. has made countless contributions to the physical therapy profession across Illinois, the country, and the world. Throughout his life, Robert has been an outstanding leader and mentor. He has contributed to the professional and personal growth of hundreds of his colleagues, peers, friends, and family members during his lifetime. He has been recognized for his contributions by receiving the Hall of Fame award from the section of administration of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Outstanding Physical Therapy award from the IL Chapter of APTA (IPTA), and Alumnus of the Year award from the Northwestern University Physical Therapy Alumni Association.

With Robert’s commitment and dedication, he built up the physical therapy services at the University of Chicago. He created opportunities within his team for a diverse group of professionals and gave them the tools, training, and mentorship they needed to succeed. Robert’s passion for mentoring and supporting others helped build many careers and has radiated outward into the profession as his trainees and employees have gone on to manage or establish their own practices. He has also been an advocate for minority physical therapists, paving the way for diverse future generations of physical therapists.

Robert was instilled with strong values by his parents, his commanding officers in the United States Amy and Air Force Reserves, and early mentors in the profession. Throughout his physical therapy career, he served in many leadership positions in IPTA and APTA. The highlights were him serving as an IPTA representative to the House of Delegates over 26 times, President of IPTA from 1982-1984, and trustee for IPTA scholarship funds from 1969-1989. In addition, Robert has been an APTA member since 1956 and was the President of the administration section from 1976-1978. He was also involved in the Chicagoland Physical Therapy Director’s Forum (CPTDF), and a charter member of the American Academy of Physical Therapy (AAPT). It is our great professional honor to award Robert Babbs with the Northwestern University Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Robert Babbs, Jr. PT Diversity Scholarship

A diversity scholarship has been established in Robert’s honor to support physical therapy students at Northwestern. We are actively fundraising to endow the scholarship for a lasting influence in the profession. MAKE AN ONLINE DONATION

Contact Vic Maurer for more information on supporting the Robert Babbs Jr. PT Diversity Scholarship. 


Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Development & Alumni Relations
420 E. Superior St.
Arthur J. Rubloff Building, 9th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611


Follow PTHMS on FacebookInstagramYouTubeLinkedIn