On Thursday, March 2, St. Mary’s Ryken community members gathered to celebrate and honor the 2023 St. Francis Xavier Society Pillars of the Community. These individuals are friends and benefactors of the school who are committed to the same philosophies and ideals as the founders of St. Mary’s Ryken. Through their generosity, they seek to ensure that the highest quality of education will be available for future generations.

The entire St. Mary’s Ryken community is grateful for their vision, leadership, and dedicated service to the students, faculty, staff, and all the lives they have touched.

President Rick Wood, Pat Tennyson, Ellie Tennyson, Mary Joy Hurlburt and George Hurlburt Credit: St. Mary's Ryken High SChool

Among the honorees were Mary Joy and George Hurlburt, who has served the school community in various capacities. Mary Joy Hurlburt began her career as an art teacher before entering administrative leadership roles, serving as the dean of academics, principal, and president. She oversaw significant improvements to the campus, including the construction of a turf field, track, and stadium, the creation of a Campus Ministry center, renovation of the fine arts spaces, installation of air conditioning in all of the buildings, and the completion of the Donnie Williams Center and the MIL Corp. STEM Innovation Wing. Mary Joy retired in 2019 and now serves as director of the MIL Family Foundation.

George F. Hurlburt had a distinguished 38-year career with the Department of the Navy, where he led the development of proven information systems with longevity. In retirement, he continues to design similar dynamic systems. He is an active member of the Southern Maryland community, serving as treasurer of three nonprofit boards and on the Board of Advisors of the newly created University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland.

Also honored were Eleanor “Ellie” and Patrick Tennyson. Ellie Tennyson is the founder and managing director of the Tennyson Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. She assists clients in living their life the best way possible without taking unnecessary investment risks. Patrick Tennyson, Ellie’s husband, spent most of his career working in the family’s construction business before becoming a stay-at-home dad for 14 years, where he became an expert in mediation and dispute resolution. He owns The Helping Hammer, where he provides his services to the senior community.

The St. Francis Xavier Society Pillars of the Community embody the spirit of St. Mary’s Ryken and its mission to provide an exceptional Catholic, college-preparatory education rooted in the charism of the Xaverian Brothers. The school community is grateful for its generosity and dedication to ensuring that St. Mary’s Ryken continues to thrive for future generations.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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