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Congratulations to St. Mary's Ryken 2023 Pillars of the Community


On Thursday, March 2, members of the St. Mary's Ryken community gathered to celebrate and honor 2023 St. Francis Xavier Society Pillars of the Community.

Congratulations to 2023 Pillars of the Community: Mary Joy and George Hurlburt and Eleanor and Patrick Tennyson!

St. Francis Xavier Honorees 23

President Rick Wood, Pat Tennyson, Ellie Tennyson, Mary Joy Hurlburt and George Hurlburt


Pillars of the Community are friends and benefactors of St. Mary’s Ryken. They are committed to the same philosophies and ideals as our founders and, through their wisdom and generosity, 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 our students, faculty and staff, and all the lives they have touched.
Mary Joy and George Hurlburt
Mary Joy Hurlburt began her career as an art teacher at St. Mary’s Ryken before entering administrative leadership roles, serving as the dean of academics, principal and president. In addition, she focused on improving the school and preserving its heritage as a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School. In 2005, she was the first woman to become president of any of the 13 Xaverian Brothers schools. During her tenure, Mary Joy worked diligently to improve the campus, overseeing 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 served 33 years at St. Mary’s Ryken and retired in 2019. She now servies as director of the MIL Family Foundation. In addition, she is a corporate member of the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools. 

Mary Joy has served on the board of directors of St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, MA; Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, MD; and her alma mater, The Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, MD. In addition, she is the past president of the Washington Catholic High School President’s Association. 

In December 2018, she received the Theodore James Ryken Award, the most prestigious award given to members of the school community. In 2021, Mary Joy received the Distinguished Alumnae Award from The Academy of the Holy Cross.

George F. Hurlburt had a distinguished 38-year career with the Department of the Navy. As a young Vietnam-seasoned naval intelligence officer, George became a briefing officer for the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. While a civilian Navy employee, he became the technical marketing manager for the Naval Air Test Center Patuxent River, working under three successive admirals. Increasingly relying on electronic dashboards, George gravitated to automation, where he eventually held the titles of both IRM and chief information officer. He led the development of proven information systems with longevity. One such system served to unify the testing communities of the Joint Services for over 20 years, well before the notions of net-centricity and joint collaboration became common. 

A pioneer in joint service electronic collaboration, George came to appreciate the complex behavior of networks. He developed an architectural tool based upon a fluid ontology, which gained notoriety in defense architectural circles. 

In retirement, he continues to design similar dynamic systems. George is an avid photographer and often combines this hobby with his non-profit work. He is active as the treasurer of three nonprofit boards in the Southern Maryland community. In addition, he serves on the Board of Advisors of the newly created University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland. 
Mary Joy and George have been married for 48 years. Their son Jimmy graduated in 1993, and they enjoy their two beautiful grandchildren, Eli and Minah. Their new retirement adventure includes traveling the world as much as possible.  

Eleanor “Ellie” and Patrick Tennyson 
Ellie Tennyson is the founder and managing director of the Tennyson Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. She oversees investments, utilizing her experience and knowledge of asset planning, financial markets and strategies to assist clients in living their life the best way possible, without undue compromise to their current or future lifestyle and without taking unnecessary investment risks.

Before her move to Wells Fargo Advisors, Ellie was an investment officer for Riggs National Bank. During her tenure there, she specialized in fixed-income investments and worked primarily with local corporations, associations and institutions. She began her career in 1992 at Prudential Securities, a Wells Fargo Advisors predecessor firm.

As a proponent of continued education, Ellie has taken the necessary steps to become both a certified financial planner and a certified investment management analyst. In addition to these designations, she is licensed in Life, Health, Long-Term Care Insurance, Variable Life and Annuities. Ellie serves on the Board of Directors at St. Mary’s Ryken and is the former president of The Bread of Life Center for Peace, a local nonprofit organization. She is also actively involved in her church, local schools, and the assisted living community.

Patrick Tennyson, Ellie’s husband, has spent most of his career working in the family’s construction business, Tennyson Custom Builders, and WM Davis. In 2005, he put his family first and made a career change – he became a stay-at-home dad.  Pat described his new job as the most challenging, yet the most rewarding. He became an expert in mediation and dispute resolution!

For the next 14 years, he chauffeured their four children and their friends to school, tutoring, and practices for soccer, BMX, basketball, golf, softball, lacrosse, field hockey and ice hockey. Pat rarely missed a home game, while Ellie attended the away games. The Chevy Suburban racked up many miles with four children involved in two or more activities. While the children attended Father Andrew White School,  Pat was a dedicated parent volunteer and spent numerous hours building and creating “whatever was needed” for the school’s biggest fundraiser, the Spring Social. 

Currently, Pat is the owner of The Helping Hammer. He believes no job is too small and works with the senior community, often providing his services pro bono. Pat looks forward to caravanning his grandchildren to their events and activities in the future.

Ellie and Pat are the proud parents of Christopher ’13, Elizabeth ’15, Joseph ’18 and Grace ’20. When not spending time with family, Ellie enjoys traveling, wine tastings, and searching for unique and vintage treasures, while Pat can be found on the golf course whenever he has a chance!