She would have been the first female door gunner on the space shuttle.

Via Fox News:

Faulkner, now an English teacher in Greenville, spoke at a symposium on the life and legacy of the late South Carolina novelist Pat Conroy, alongside Conroy’s widow, writer Cassandra King.

As one of his last requests, Conroy, a friend and mentor of Faulkner, wanted her to “make peace” with The Citadel. Faulkner said she’s finally reconciled with the institution that decades ago wanted nothing to do with her.

An honors student from Powdersville, Faulkner was admitted to The Citadel in 1993, a week after her 18th birthday. Her acceptance letter was addressed to “Mr. Shannon Richey Faulkner.” When college officials discovered she was a woman, they revoked admission.

Faulkner waged a two-year legal battle against The Citadel, a fight that subjected her to cruel attacks. Citadel supporters sold T-shirts and bumper stickers emblazoned with slogans like “Save the Males” and “1,952 Bulldogs and One Bitch.”

She started at The Citadel as its first day student on her 19th birthday, Jan. 20, 1994, taking classes alongside cadets under a federal court injunction. She became a member of the Corps a year and a half later. She didn’t last long.

Overcome by stress — and, she said, the mess hall Beefaroni she had for lunch — Faulkner spent most of her first week as a cadet at the infirmary. She withdrew six days after her historic enrollment and left in tears while some cadets openly cheered and celebrated.

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