Toby Keith Receives Honorary Degree At University of Oklahoma Commencement

Last year, award winning singer-songwriter, entertainer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Toby Keith learned that the University of Oklahoma (OU) would be presenting him an Honorary Degree at their 2024 Commencement. He was so honored and happy to be acknowledged by the University that he loved and sent his children to for their education. Walking the stage this Spring was something he was looking forward to, but sadly it was not to be.

At this weekend’s OU Commencement events, his daughter Krystal Keith proudly stood in to accept the honorary degree and share her recollections of her father’s love and loyalty to the University.

She noted, “he loved his Sooner Nation! His passion started far back before he was 12 and 13 he sold cokes at the stadium just to be able to see the OU games. He broke his ankle playing a celebrity OU Alumni game in the 90’s. For as long as I can remember, he took our family to bowl games and was on every sidelines or courtside of every OU event that he possibly could, regardless of sport, or gender. He wanted to be at all of them. He supported them whole-heartedly. He simply bled Crimson and Cream."

Read a transcript of full speech below.

In addition to Keith, distinguished educator, economist, and activist Barbara Ann Posey Jones, founder of Love’s Travel Stops Tom E. Love, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient for his work on the Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 spacecraft missions David Proctor received honorary degrees from OU this year. In an earlier announcement, OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. said of all the recipients, “through their exceptional talents, transformative leadership and unwavering commitment to serving others, each of this year’s Honorary Degree recipients has left an indelible mark on the world. Their profound dedication has touched countless lives, and we take great pride in conferring the university’s highest honor upon them.”

The university conferred honorary degrees during their 2024 Commencement. Love and Jones were honored at a ceremony on Friday, May 10. Keith and Proctor were honored at a ceremony on Saturday, May 11. Both ceremonies took place at Lloyd Noble Center.

For more information on OU’s May graduation ceremonies, visit