Answered By: Marie Rose
Last Updated: Nov 17, 2015     Views: 43

First woman enrolled at The Citadel as a member of the Corps of Cadets. Born in 1975 in Powdersville, S.C. Her application for admission was accepted in January 1993, then rejected when it was learned that she was female. She brought suit in the U. S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, for admission on grounds of equal protection under the law. Judge Weston Houck ruled in her favor (Faulkner v. Jones, 858 F.Supp. 552, decided July 22, 1994).

Faulkner began taking classes, but still was not admitted to the Corps. In 1995, the U. S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed the District Court's ruling, paving the way for her admission as a cadet (Faulkner v. Jones, 51 F.3d 440, decided April 13, 1995).

Before the courts Faulkner was represented by the New York City law firm of Shearman & Sterling (lead counsel: Valorie Kay Vojdik); The Citadel by the Charleston law firm of Barnwell, Whaley, Patterson & Helms (lead counsel: Dawes Cook).

Faulkner joined the Corps of Cadets on August 15, 1995. One week later she resigned, citing exhaustion and complaining of maltreatment. A lawsuit for damages ensued. The following year, after the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the Virginia Military Institute's policy of excluding women was unconstitutional (United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, 116 S.Ct. 2264, 135 L.Ed.2d 735, decided June 26, 1996), The Citadel changed its admission policy and began actively recruiting women.

The Federal District Court required The Citadel to make quarterly reports on its progress in integrating female cadets into the school. This requirement ended in 2002 because The Citadel had made outstanding progress in coeducation.

Shannon Faulkner subsequently made a career as a secondary school teacher. (Sources: Catherine S. Manegold, In Glory's Shadow: Shannon Faulkner, The Citadel, and a Changing America. KF228 .C53 H36 2000; Washington Monthly, vol. 29, October 1997, pp. 4-9; National Review, vol. 46, August 1, 1994, pp. 49-52; Brian Hicks, "Lawsuit's Dismissal Marks End of Era at The Citadel," Post and Courier, March 30, 2002, p. 1A; "Fresh Start: Shannon Faulkner Opened the Door for Women in The Citadel. Now She Opens Minds to Shakespeare," People Weekly, June 28, 2004, p. 145)

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