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Toby Keith receives a posthumous honorary doctorate from the University of Oklahoma

The The University of Oklahoma celebrates the memory and legacy of Toby Keith with an honorary doctorate degree. This distinction comes three months after his death following a battle with cancer that Keith once called “quite debilitating.”

Keith was 62 when he died in his sleep on February 5 in his home state of Oklahoma, and his connection to the Sooner State lasted his entire life. Following the country legend’s death, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt ordered state and American flags to fly at half-staff on state property. When the University of Oklahoma basketball team hosted their rivals from Oklahoma State, the college sang its “Red Solo Cup” together. This is the latest way his home state is honoring Keith.

The University of Oklahoma awards Toby Keith an honorary doctorate posthumously

Keith, a native of the town of Clinton whose 2020 population was about 8,000, would receive the honorary degree before his death, an award shared with him. With Keith gone, the plans have changed, but they’re still poignant in a whole new way.

Keith’s daughter, Krystal Keith, was tasked with receiving his honorary award in his place. Krystal, 38, an alum of the university, is proud of her own deep history with UO, saying in an Instagram post, “The @uofoklahoma is a HUGE part of our lives. I think it’s great that he’s being honored by Sooner Nation.

The university’s Norman campus was chosen to host the special ceremony, with singer-songwriter Krystal also invited to speak at the event.

Everyone influenced by Keith honors him

Countless fans across the country honored Keith’s memory in the immediate aftermath of his passing – and they come from all walks of life. “Throughout his illustrious career, he remained rooted in his Oklahoma upbringing, choosing to live in the state that shaped him and generously giving back to his fellow Oklahoman,” said Joseph Harroz, Jr., president of the University of Oklahoma, in an official statement following Keith’s death. .

Toby Keith posthumously received an honorary doctorate from the University of Oklahoma/ImageCollect

After Saturday’s ceremony, Keith’s official Instagram page shared an update on the procedure. “Toby heard last fall that he would receive an honorary doctorate from @uofoklahoma,” shared the post, “and yesterday @krystalkeith accepted it on his behalf at the commencement ceremony. We congratulate all OU graduates!”

The University of Oklahoma was among those mourning the death of Toby Keith / Wikimedia Commons