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GC News Details

September 6, 2023

Thanks to the largest one-time gift in school history, today we dedicate and officially open the new Thomas Fortune Fay Student Learning Center. The Center provides services to support student needs including study skills, a writing lab, math tutoring, and general assistance. The Center is located on the third floor of the school in the media center.  

The Center was made possible by the generosity of the Peace through Law Foundation, and Mr. Thomas Fortune Fay, who served on the Good Counsel Board of Directors from 2017-2020, and is parent to two Good Counsel alumni, son Brendan ‘87, and daughter Caragh ‘96.

“The Fay Student Learning Center will enable Our Lady of Good Counsel to offer our students the academic help and support needed to achieve their personal best,” says the Center’s new coordinator Connie Embley. “We will offer help in academic subjects, supporting what is offered in the classroom and by their classroom teachers. The benefits of individualized and small group instruction are enormous for students who need support.”

In recognition of the legacy of president Dr. Paul Barker, who retired on June 30, 2023, the gift also launched the Barker Endowment for Student Talent (BEST). BEST scholars will begin to be awarded this admission cycle to those incoming students who have demonstrated academic promise and a commitment to community service.  

“Tom is a kind, wise soul. I learned from every conversation with him. As a brilliant lawyer, Tom made a huge difference in the lives of many, many clients. This remarkable gift will make a huge difference for many, many GC students,” says Dr. Barker.

Before his retirement, Mr. Fay practiced law for over 50 years, with Fay Law Group, P.A. A former president of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, and the 2001 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award Recipient, much of Mr. Fay’s career was spent establishing civil remedies for the victims of terrorism. Mr. Fay, and his wife Patricia, were awarded the Cornerstone Award for outstanding and thoughtful generosity to the school at the 2020 Grand Celebration.

We are grateful for the lasting legacy this gift represents, and the students who will benefit from this generosity. If you would like to explore making a gift that is meaningful to you and Good Counsel, please contact Chief Advancement Officer Julie Potter at or 240-283-3234.