CHARLESTON, S.C. — The next woman who wants to march in the all-male corps of cadets at The Citadel is a military academy student and star athlete who has a brother in the college and a father who is an alumnus.
Nancy Mellette, a 17-year-old senior at a North Carolina military boarding school, is asking to intervene in the Shannon Faulkner case, according to federal court papers filed Thursday by lawyers who also represented Faulkner.
Mellette wants to join The Citadel in the fall of 1996.
"I think she could do the physical part of it . . . but I'm not too sure how they would treat her," Catherine Mellette, her twin sister, said outside the family home in suburban Columbia.
Her mother, Connie, said she admires her daughter for "having the courage to even try to take this step."
Faulkner fought a 2 1/2-year court battle to become a cadet at the state-supported military college. She became ill during a day of rigorous training at the beginning of "hell week" and quit five days later, saying the stress of the court battle and her isolation at the college threatened her health.
South Carolina Atty. Gen. Charles Condon said he would fight Mellette's bid.
"Obviously they're very adept at public relations," he said of the women's lawyers. "They've taken a bath in public relations and they've gotten a new and improved model."
Mellette is a second lieutenant in the Oak Ridge Military Academy corps of cadets, court papers said. She is on the cross-country, track, basketball and softball teams. Calls to Oak Ridge administrators to get comment from her were not returned.
Mellette has not yet applied, The Citadel said. Her brother, a senior and captain at the college, did not return a call to his barracks room. Her father, James B. Mellette Jr., graduated from The Citadel in 1963, according to a school yearbook.
Lawyer Val Vojdik originally said two women wanted to join the corps, but she said only one is pursuing the matter for now. She would not elaborate.
Vojdik would not say whether Mellette had approached the lawyers or they approached her after Faulkner dropped out.