The Robert Holgate Pride Fellowship Award in Queering Religion

The Robert Holgate Pride Award is a new fellowship to highlight student activism in queering religion at the University of San Francisco. This award, named in honor of LGBTQIA+ activist and philanthropist Robert Holgate, will enable the Queering Religion ministry to create more inclusive programs and build spiritual communities.

Robert Holgate is a long-time gay activist and philanthropist in San Francisco. In honor of his late husband, Robert sponsored the 2022 launch of the Alvin H. Baum, Jr. Memorial Lecture, and also supports the Rabbi-in-Residence program to honor the pastoral work of Rabbi Camille Angel. Robert’s philanthropy is primarily focused on organizations supporting queer young people and elders, civil rights and strengthening our democracy, and related cultural work.

The Robert Holgate Pride Award is being hosted by the Swig program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice; applications will be accepted in January 2024 (process below). The successful awardee will be a junior who has significantly contributed to the spiritual/religious life of the USF LGBTQIA+ community, and is involved in the work on campus of “queering religion.” When submitting an application and thinking about the opportunities for queering religion on campus, consider these questions: “How do queer people navigate religious contexts that have often attempted to negate them?” “In what ways can religion and spiritual activism be queer?” “How can LGBTQIA+ spiritual activism manifest at the University of San Francisco?” 

In 2024, the Robert Holgate Pride Award in Queering Religion will provide one student a fellowship stipend in the amount of $1,500. This award is provided through funding from the Rabbi in Residence Funds through the University Ministry at the University of San Francisco. The award will be disbursed as one single lump sum payment in the Spring semester on April 7th, the date of the Alvin H. Baum Memorial Lecture. The intent, based on availability of funds, will be to continue this award on a yearly basis.

The following are required as conditions of this fellowship:

  • Full-time enrollment;
  • A junior in good academic standing;
  • Someone who has been involved in the work on campus of “queering religion” - in recognition of their significant contribution to the spiritual/religious life of LGBTQ community on campus;
  • The completion of:
    • Personal statement that addresses commitment to this work
      • Questions to answer in personal statement
        • Why is this work important to you?
        • Talk about the intersections between your queer identity, spirituality, religiosity, and activism on campus.
        • In what way does your LGBTQIA+ spiritual activism manifest at the University of San Francisco?
        • What are the goals you hope to achieve with your program?
    • Up to 2 letter(s) of recommendation;
    • A presentation to the selection committee showing the work the student has done and plans to do, in order to move the USF campus culture forward. 
      • The intention of this presentation (slideshow or poster) is to encourage, support, and empower the innovation and creativity of a student that facilitates programming that deepens the connection and understanding of the intersectionality between religious/spiritual and LGBTQIA+ communities.
      • This can be done through innovations, programming (ritual, liturgy, service), education (panel, research), cultural (events, music, art).

The timeline for selection will proceed as follows:

  • February 8: Applications including personal statement and letters of recommendation are due
  • February 16: Announce finalists and begin preparing presentations
  • March 8: Students give presentations to committee at the USF Hilltop Campus 
  • April 7th: Winner announced at the 3rd annual - Alvin H Baum, Jr. Memorial Lecture

If you have any questions regarding the fellowship, please contact Rabbi Camille Angel, Rabbi in Residence at

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