Paige Laurie Returns Her USC Degree

A classy move, I think. But then again, I don't know if and how much pressure from USC was mounting, but I'm prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Paige Laurie, the Wal-Mart heiress for whom Mizzou Arena was originally named, voluntarily returned her degree from the University of Southern California. A Sept. 30 statement from USC confirms Laurie surrendered her diploma, which "concludes the university's review of the allegations concerning Ms. Laurie."

The statement says Laurie is not a graduate of USC.

The Columbia native who graduated from USC in May 2004 with a degree in communication was accused last November on ABC's "20/20" of cheating in college. Laurie's roommate, Elena Martinez, said Laurie paid her $20,000 over three-and-a-half years to complete coursework.

MU's remaining link to Laurie's name is a professorship for the Equine Center - the E. Paige Laurie Professorship ­- through the MU College of Veterinary Medicine.

From the Columbia Missourian.