Krystal Keith Accepts Honorary OU Degree On Father Toby’s Behalf

(Left) Toby Keith / Instagram / (Right) Icon Sportswire / Contributor / Getty Images

Toby Keith Was A Lifelong Fan & Supporter Of OU

Over the weekend, Toby Keith’s daughter, Krystal Keith, accepted an honorary degree from The University of Oklahoma, otherwise known as OU, on her late father’s behalf.

Toby learned last fall that he’d receive an honorary degree at OU’s 2024 commencement ceremony. The country star “was so honored and happy” about it.

Sadly, Toby died before he got the chance to accept the degree. He passed away on February 5, 2024, following a years-long battle with stomach cancer.

After his passing, Krystal recognized how much OU meant to her dad. She said:

“My dad started selling Cokes at 12 or 13 yrs old in the stadium so he could see the games live. We have traveled as a family with the teams to bowl games and championships as long as I can remember. Planning weddings, vacations and big life events around team schedules.”

Krystal Keith accepted an honorary degree from OU on behalf of her late father, Toby Keith, who was a huge supporter of the University
Icon Sportswire / Contributor / Getty Images


When it came time for his three kids to attend college, Krystal said Toby made it clear which school he wanted them to choose.

When I was choosing, he told me ‘you can go anywhere in the world you want to go, as long as it’s in Norman, OK and has division 1 football.‘”

Krystal, her sister Shelley, and her brother Stelen all attended and graduated from OU.

Krystal Delivers Emotional Speech Upon Accepting Her Dad’s Honorary Degree

OU loved Toby in return. They honored him during their spring football game by having his name and image painted onto the field in their signature crimson color.


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They also honored Toby by presenting his honorary degree, which Krystal accepted on his behalf. She delivered an emotional speech during the commencement ceremony, saying:

When he learned, last fall, that he was being inducted to Sooner Nation on this high of a level, he was so excited and he was so proud. I actually made a joke about how many hours I spent here getting my bachelor’s degree, and he joked that he didn’t have to work that hard to get his. But we all know he earned it and spent many more hours dedicating his life to earning it this way. He loved his family (he loved all of us), God, our country, and Sooner Nation!”

Krystal highlighted her dad’s passion for his home state of Oklahoma, his family, his music, his charity work, and OU.

She ended her speech by saying:

My dad taught me everything – singing, writing songs and… most of what I know about life! And I hope the graduates that are here today can learn from him, too. He fought hard to live his dream. He had faith and believed in himself. He never gave up the fight, even when the odds were against him. He would want me to tell you to never give up on yourself. As you start your next journey in life, know that you have strong roots here at the University of Oklahoma. Work hard and be the captain of your own ship. Believe in yourself and live your dream. Thank you for honoring my hero!

See some photos of Krystal accepting Toby’s honorary degree from OU below.

Toby Keith was the founder of the Toby Keith Foundation. The foundation helps support the OK Kids Korral, which serves as a home-away-from-home for families with children undergoing cancer treatments. If you’d like to make a donation in Toby’s memory, you can visit the Toby Keith Foundation’s official website here.

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