Making Student Professional Coaching and Mentoring A Full-Time Endeavor

Keith Norton and Students

Keith Norton to transition from Culverhouse’s development office to student professional development, coaching, and mentorship position as part of the UA Business LEAD team.

It could be argued that among one of the most familiar faces around The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business is that of Keith Norton, who has served as a director of development for the College for the past five years and, more recently, taught intro-level courses in the College’s UA Business LEAD program.

This familiarity is a direct result of the nature of the job itself: as a development officer, Norton hopscotched across the country, establishing and building relationships with alumni for the purposes of engagement and fundraising. The work also entailed connecting with Culverhouse faculty to understand — and translate — their classroom needs into strategic fundraising priorities.

For Norton, a two-time alumnus of the College, who came to work at Culverhouse after decades in the corporate arena, his status as a familiar face also comes about in part because of the relationships he has established with its students.

“I get to know a lot of our students through the courses I teach. They ask for some advice, and I give it to them the only way I know how, honestly and unvarnished,” Norton said.

“I’ve done a lot in my life, and I’ve had my ups and downs. But the important thing is that I’ve learned from the good and bad — and I can share that and make a difference.”

And for Norton, knowledge sharing, coaching, and mentorship to the students at Culverhouse is now a full-time job. He recently accepted the Clinical Faculty and UA Business LEAD Professional Coach position. The role, which is new to the College, was made possible by a generous gift from Ginger Kelly in honor of her late husband Jim, a highly successful business executive with an incredible passion for coaching and mentoring. This gift is transformational.  It allows LEAD to provide students with access to executive style leadership training, coaching, and mentoring – something critically needed but often lacking in undergraduate business education.

Norton will focus heavily on delivering executive-style coaching and mentoring to our undergraduate business students as well as teaching the UA Business LEAD professional development sequence. The aim is to set our students apart by developing key soft-skills that industry demands.

Dr. David Mothersbaugh, Culverhouse’s associate dean of undergraduate and international programs who has, over the past five years, worked to create and grow the LEAD program, said, “Keith has an incredible passion for, and commitment to, our students and the LEAD mission of developing world-class business leaders through executive style coaching and training. Keith’s wealth of knowledge and experience in the corporate world, along with his passion and experience in coaching and mentoring make Keith the perfect fit for this new and vitally important role within the UA Business LEAD Program in the Culverhouse College of Business.”

“We couldn’t be more excited about having Keith join our team!”

Norton’s passion for The University of Alabama — and helping the people that comprise the institution — led him to be named a UA Everyday Champion in 2021. He also recently graduated with a master’s in marketing, having earned a bachelor’s in marketing in 1977.

For Nick Foster, who oversees Culverhouse’s fundraising efforts through the $1.5B Rising Tide Capital Campaign for The University of Alabama, Norton’s transition to this new role is exciting and fitting with clear benefits to Culverhouse students:

“Keith’s incredible success as a fundraiser was centered around his passion for the students of this university — it’s clear from the moment you start talking to him. I cannot wait to see what he does next.”

Contact Keith Norton at

Authored by

Media Inquiries

Zach thomas

Director of Marketing & Communications