In fall 2007, Danielle Powell enrolled in Grace University in Omaha, Neb., to pursue a degree in psychology. She chose to study at Grace, a Christian college, because her older sister lived in Omaha and she was “offered generous scholarships.” Powell played on the women’s volleyball team and did well in school.
During the spring 2011 semester of her senior year, Powell traveled to Mississippi to work at a civil rights foundation to finish her degree. While there, Powell and another student began a same-sex relationship. After the relationship became known by Grace, Powell was suspended. Shortly after, Grace began billing Powell for $6,300, the amount of her scholarships for that spring semester, which had been revoked.
Powell was determined to finish her degree; so, after careful reflection and consultation with her mentors, she decided to apply for readmission to Grace. In order to re-enroll, Powell had to fulfill the university’s requests to live off campus and go through a prescribed program that addressed sexual relations. She had also planned to repay the $6,300 and tuition for her final semester through her job’s tuition reimbursement program.
But the night before she was going to register for the spring 2012 semester, Powell received an email from Michael F. James, executive vice president of Grace, stating she’d been expelled. <Read the rest of the story.>