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In his 23-year career advising College of General Studies students, Louis Mayhew recalls countless conversations that have gone something like this: “I’m here because I want to go into the Questrom School of Business, but I also love music. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with these two things.”

“What I say to students is, ‘Look, we have to learn how to incorporate things into our lives. Just because you’re going to be in business doesn’t mean you can’t play music or do art or whatever,’” he says. “‘It just means you’ll find ways to incorporate that interest into your life so it becomes an asset, and it’s something positive that you enjoy.’”

Mayhew (SSW’93) knows something about balancing outside interests with a career path. In addition to advising CGS freshmen and sophomores, he is a musician who plays in two bands. After learning to play the trumpet in the fourth grade, he moved on to the guitar and the harmonica. He plays both instruments in the backup band for local blues singer Shor’ty Billups and in the Mayhew Brothers Band (his brother plays the bass).

Mayhew thinks that some of the things that make him a good performer also make him a popular advisor, specifically, his people skills and approachability. “If I’m gonna have students come in to talk to me, they have to feel like I’m accessible and that I won’t be judgmental,” he says. “I think they come into my office and are relaxed, and it’s maybe different from what they might expect.”

There’s no shortage of funky trinkets in Mayhew’s office overlooking Comm Ave: photos, toys, and artwork from his now-grown kids adorn the perimeter. “This office has really started great conversations,” he says. “I think it’s a reflection of who I am and they see that. But it’s funny, because sometimes I just look around and say, “God, I have so much stuff.”

In our series “Office Artifacts,” BU Today highlights interesting artifacts professors and staff display in their office. Have a suggestion about someone we should profile? Email amlaskow@bu.edu.

Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

3 Comments on Office Artifacts: Louis Mayhew

  • Suzanne Bagnera on 09.27.2017 at 5:20 am

    You have me rolling over the Furby comment, as I had to fight through a war to buy one for my step kids, and it too freaked them out and wouldn’t shut off! At least yours was rescued to your office…mine didn’t have the same fate!

  • LarryO on 09.27.2017 at 9:55 am

    I love this series and the stories behind the office artifacts.

    I saw Little Joe Cook at the Cantab Lounge back in the 90’s. It was a packed house, and all the people (hamburgers and cheeseburgers) from their 20’s on up were dancing and singing along, and having a fantastic time. Mr. Mayhew, I probably saw you that night!

    • Regular Reader on 09.27.2017 at 3:42 pm

      And I remember that the back-up band was always excellent!

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