Rombach and Bretall Scholarships

March 18, 2024

Religious Studies is now accepting applications for the Rombach and Bretall Scholarships from students with a major in Religious Studies OR Religious Studies for Health Professionals (RSHP). The next application deadline is March 18, 2024

Awards will be made based on academic achievement, need, and seniority in the Religious Studies Program (the number of courses taken toward completing the major in Religious Studies or Religious Studies for Health Professionals).

Value of Scholarship: $1,000-$2000

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicants must be majoring in Religious Studies OR Religious Studies for Health Professionals (RSHP).
  • Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • NOTE: Students can receive only one Rombach/Bretall Award. Once a student has received a Rombach or Bretall Award, they are ineligible for future Rombach/Bretall Awards. 

Application Instructions:

To apply for this funding, please email the following with the subject line "Rombach/Bretall" to Marcela Thompson ( by March 18, 2024:

  1. Your University of Arizona transcript. It is fine to send an unofficial transcript.
  2. A 1-to-2-page letter of application, addressing the following points: 
  • Why did you choose to major in Religious Studies or Religious Studies for Health Professionals (RSHP)?
  • What has the Religious Studies or RSHP major meant to you? In other words, what impact has the major had on your experience as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona?
  • How will this scholarship help you to achieve your goals as a Religious Studies or RSHP major?
  • NOTE: At the top of your letter of application, please include the following information: your name, your university email address, your major(s), your expected graduation date, and the Religious Studies courses you will have completed by the end of Spring 2024.

Questions? Contact Prof. Max Strassfeld (

History of the Lionel Rombach Scholarship

In 1978, Lionel England “Lee” Rombach donated funds to Religious Studies at the University of Arizona for the purpose of supporting upper-level undergraduates pursuing the study of religion. He endowed this scholarship in memory of his parents, Lambert Rombach and Anna England Rombach. For nearly half a century, the Rombach Scholarship has been distributed to Religious Studies majors to help with their educational expenses. Until the end of his life, Lee Rombach enjoyed luncheons each year with recipients of the Rombach Scholarship. Mr. Rombach passed away in 2008, and his legacy continues to benefit Religious Studies majors at the University of Arizona. His obituary can be read here.

History of the Ora Bretall Scholarship

Religious Studies received a generous donation to establish this endowed student scholarship from the estate of Ora Bretall. She was predeceased by her son, Dr. Robert Bretall (1913-1980), who was a faculty member at the University of Arizona from 1949-1976.