The sound of tradition crumbling echoed across the Deep South today as Shannon Faulkner took her place among the corps of cadets at The Citadel, an all-male bastion for 152 years.

In the wake of death threats, Faulkner, the first woman admitted to the state-supported military school, was accompanied by four U.S. marshals as well as her parents as she pulled up to the walled campus about 7:30 a.m.

The tall 20-year-old climbed out of her family's blue van with a flute case and some sheet music under her arm. Her first stop was a band audition.

"All I can say is that everything is going well," she shouted to reporters just after lunch. For her first day as a "knob," as first-year cadets are called, Faulkner was dressed in a mauve shirt, white shorts and tennis shoes.

On Monday, however, she will don the epauletted uniform worn by 2,000 male fellow students and begin a tough program of military training and academic discipline. As a Citadel cadet, she will experience the rigors and the rights that generations of young men have shared since 1843.

But that is not to say she is being welcomed.

After two U.S. Supreme Court justices refused to intervene Friday, school officials said they would abide by the federal court order that forced them to admit Faulkner after approving her application in 1993, under the assumption she was male.

Citadel President Claudius E. Watts III said, however, the school will press on with appeals to keep other women from following Faulkner, who has said she will not be the last woman to wear The Citadel gray uniform.

"The issue concerning single-gender education is a legal controversy about which there are differing views and attitudes," Watts said. "It is not a fight between The Citadel and Shannon Faulkner."

Nonetheless, many administrators and cadets are anything but shy in expressing their resentment of Faulkner's presence.

"She is destroying the single-gender concept of education and a 152-year-old tradition," said Cadet Capt. Sidney Benton, 20, of Covington, Ga. "Those are the things that attracted me to The Citadel in the first place."

Outside the campus gates a band of protesters held up a banner reading "Save the Males."

"She is motivated by the ACLU {American Civil Liberties Union} and feminists who want to see white men fail," fumed Connie Haynie, who said her husband was a 1981 Citadel graduate.

But clustered under a moss-draped live oak across the corner from Haynie's group, a larger group of women backed Faulkner. "This is a taxpayer-supported institution, and more than half the population of South Carolina can't go here," said Kathy Moore, a marine biologist.

"There are traditions worth defending, and then there are artificial ones," Seth Bauer, on vacation here from Boston, said of the previously all-male institution.

"This is one of the latter."

Faulkner's 2 1/2-year struggle to enter The Citadel as a full-fledged cadet to study to become a teacher has also become a personal odyssey for her and her family. Her family's home in Powdersville, S.C., has been vandalized, she has received dozens of death threats, and bumper stickers and T-shirts bearing anti-Faulkner messages are common.

After a federal judge last year ruled The Citadel's all-male policy unconstitutional, Faulkner entered the university as a sophomore day student.

But today she was assigned to India Company, given a single room with a lockable door in a barracks and will have use of a private bathroom. For security, a video camera will be trained on her door 24 hours a day.

Perhaps the most telling signal of what Faulkner faces, however, came in the early afternoon when she and about 20 men in her platoon were told to take a break. As the male newcomers fell into two closed circles and chatted, Faulkner stood between them, alone and silent. CAPTION: Flute case in hand, Shannon Faulkner and her mother, Sandy, right, head to band tryout on the formerly all-male campus of The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.