People: Dec. 25, 2000

THE BIG UNDERGRADUATE

It is the largest cap and gown in the history of academe, at least until Gheorghe Muresan gets his Ph.D. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, 28, fulfilled a promise to his mother last Friday when he returned to Louisiana State University to accept his diploma, eight years after leaving school for the NBA. "I'm the first graduate of LSU in crayon biology," joked O'Neal, who actually earned a B.A. in general studies. Shaq cut things close, handing in a geology paper just a few days before the ceremony. Lakers coach Phil Jackson gave him an excused absence from Friday's game against...

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