Hall of Fame

James Ellison | Phil Goldfarb

The Honorable James O. Ellison, ’46

James EllisonJames O. Ellison graduated from high school at OMA in 1946. He attended the academy under a work scholarship program by which he received credit on tuition in exchange for work performed in the mess hall. He states that this arrangement, coupled with the school’s education and military training, developed a sense of responsibility shared by other OMA graduates.

Upon graduation, Ellison attended the University of Missouri for a year before transferring to the University of Oklahoma where he received dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and law in 1951.

He served on active duty with the U.S. Army for two and a half years until his discharge in 1953. He later became a member of the 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma National Guard, where he served from 1955 through 1963.

Upon his release from active duty in 1953, Judge Ellison opened a one-man law practice in Red Fork, Okla., with his wife Jody acting as his secretary. He continued as a solo practitioner until 1955 when he joined Byron Boone and eventually became a senior partner in the law firm of Boone, Ellison and Smith with the addition of L.K. Smith as a partner. The firm grew in size and reputation into a major Tulsa law firm.

In 1979, Ellison was nominated by Senator David Boren and appointed by President Carter as U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma. He served in that capacity as both active and senior judge until 2005 when he became an inactive U.S. District Judge.

During his legal career, Ellison served as Trustee of the following entities: Hillcrest Medical Center; Columbia College, Columbia, Mo.; University of the Ozarks, Clarksville, Ark.; and the Mary C. Alexander Trust.

He received the Rogers State University Constitutional Award in 2000.

About the Hall of Fame award, Ellison said, “What makes this a significant and unique honor is the knowledge of the long line of OMA cadets who left this Hill to serve their country in many ways; a great number of whom lost their lives in that service. I remember them each time I come back. All honor belongs to them.”

Mr. Phil Goldfarb, ’69

Phil GoldfarbPhil Goldfarb attended OMA from 1966 to 1969, graduating high school in 1967 and Junior College in 1969. During his last year at OMA, he was a Cadet Captain and the Adjutant for the Corps of Cadets.

While a President and Dean’s honor roll student at OMA, he was awarded the Outstanding Cadet Identification Disk, selected for Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges, held the Academic Achievement Wreath, Military Proficiency Ribbon, member of the Judges Bench, Honor Court Committee, Platoon Leader of the Best Drilled Platoon, Best Drilled Company, Cheerleader, Cadet Capers, Chevron Society, New Cadet Detail, and was the Secretary-Treasurer of the Saber Society as well as his Junior College Sophomore Class.

He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences followed by graduate school at the University of Oklahoma where he majored in Pharmacy and Business. After Pharmacy School, he fulfilled his active military commitment at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas in the Medical Service Corps where he was an Administrative Officer at Brooke Army Medical Center, retiring as a Captain, USAR.

In 1975 he began his business career with Bristol Myers, where after five years he became the youngest District Manager in the Company’s history at that time with sales and marketing responsibilities over four States. In 1988 he started with a small medical communications company and in a 10 year period; help build it from sales of $5 million to $250 million before assisting in taking the company public. After five years as a public company, it was bought by Cardinal Health, a Fortune 19 company where he worked for five additional years before retiring as Vice President of Operations.

After his early retirement, Phil started his own healthcare consulting company, was the founding and current president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tulsa, as well as being a board member and officer of the Sherwin Miller Museum of Art. In 2013, he assisted the new Military History Museum in Broken Arrow, OK with their opening as the Preparator and Curator. He has written articles and lectured extensively on various topics in genealogy and in 2014 published his first book in a series titled A Page of History: Passport Applications 1851-1914.

As a Board Member, Secretary-Treasurer, Vice President and President-elect of the OMA Alumni Association, he spearheaded the “Finding Lost Alumni Project” which has resulted to date in the location of over 1,300 living alumni who were “lost” and in addition has found over 950 “lost alumni” who were deceased. Phil has also been on the Hall of Fame/Distinguished Alumni Selection Committee for seven years and was the Chairman for three years. Phil and his wife of over 38 years Lisa, have two children and two grandchildren.