Former William Jessup University distance runner Anthony Villarreal was kicked out of his Christian college for being gay. In a poignant article posted on Outsports, Villarreal details his story of his emotional discovery of his sexual orientation, coming out to his unaccepting Christian mother and peers, and finally being kicked out of his college only 8 classes away from receiving his bachelor degree. Villarreal states,
Just two months after coming out and only eight classes away from my four-year bachelor degree at William Jessup University, it was all taken away from me, for expressing who I am. I had been suppressed the entire time I attended William Jessup University, and even after being dismissed, I still am.
Not only was my education taken away from me, but also my social life. William Jessup University is the place I'd spent the last four years of my life. Other than [my boyfriend], William Jessup University is all I'd known. My social life and life long friendships were cut loose. I am no longer allowed on campus and have missed out on yet another season of cross-country, the one thing that has helped me keep peace with who I truly am inside.
While I accepted them for a university as I attended and ran cross-country, they refused to accept me for who I am and for the contributions I made. I have learned that just as much as who I am (including my sexual orientation) is not going to change, certain religious institutions like William Jessup University won't change in their acceptance of who I am.
William Jessup has not returned journalists' multiple requests for comment.