William Gottshall

Executive Director of the Lott Leadership Institute

William Rothacker Gottshall


William Gottshall graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1968 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. While at Ole Miss, Gottshall was very involved on campus as a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity, Chairman of the School Spirit Association, as well as being elected Vice President and President of the Associated Student Body.

Upon graduation from the University of Mississippi, Gottshall served in the United States Army. His tour of duty included time spent as a Lieutenant at Special Weapons Command in Germany and later as a Captain at Hawk Missile Command in South Korea. Gottshall returned to Oxford, Miss., in 1972 where he began working for the First National Bank as a bookkeeper.

There he spent the next 12 years, becoming the bank’s Chief Executive Officer in 1984. In 1998, after more than 25 years at the First National Bank, Gottshall resigned as Chief Executive Officer to become Chief of Staff for Mississippi Senator Trent Lott. He served as Senator Lott’s Chief of Staff for the next 8 years in Washington D.C. His time in Washington as the Chief of Staff for a United States Senator was, “a collective education in management, conflict resolution, people skills, and sensitivity training.” In 2005, Gottshall was approved by the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning as the first Executive Director of the Trent Lott Leadership Institute at the University of Mississippi.

Gottshall and his wife, Donna, currently reside in Oxford, Miss. They have one son, Shea, and one precious grandson, Beau.


B.B.A. Banking & Finance, The University of Mississippi (1968)

In the News

Three men and two women stand in front of a large window.

OXFORD, Miss. – As the Trent Lott Leadership Institute at the University of Mississippi celebrates its 25th anniversary, it continues to break new ground in developing future leaders through its unique programs.