Hamburg pointed out that Thode is the daughter of Lehigh finance professor Stephen Thode. One of the perks of that relationship was that she was able to enroll in the Lehigh graduate program tuition-free. The school provided her with a job as well. She also got to attend York College of Pennsylvania at no charge as an undergraduate thanks to her Lehigh connections, says The Call.
Thode was on the witness stand Monday. Another Lehigh attorney, Michael Sacks, grilled her about her free ride.
“Even after you sued Lehigh, you were getting free tuition and working for Lehigh?” Sacks queried.
“Yes,” Thode answered.
Lehigh’s lawyers allege that Thode’s behavior in class was not acceptable for someone seeking a master’s degree in counseling. On at least one occasion, they said, she used profanity in class. Another time, she broke down crying.
Eckhardt said that she gave Thode a letter explaining the changes she needed to make to get an acceptably high grade in the class. The Express-Times reports. However, Eckhardt alleged, Thode was not interested in modifying her behavior.
Eckhardt testified that Thode’s response to the letter was, “I need to get a lawyer,” the Express-Times notes.
Before filing her lawsuit, Thode filed complaints with the university over the C+ grade, showing up at meetings with her father, the finance professor. She sought a written apology from Carr, the course instructor, and a “plan for compensating me financially,” notes The Morning Call.