Oklahoma Military Academy
Hall of Fame
The Oklahoma Military Academy Hall of Fame was established in 1984 as a way to honor and pay tribute to those individuals who have attained high achievements in professional endeavors or notable personal accomplishments at the local, state or national level.
Hall of Fame recipients must have demonstrated an exceptional academic and activity record on College Hill. Participation in the Oklahoma Military Academy Alumni Association or the activities of Rogers State University are also considered in awarding Hall of Fame designation to former cadets. Members of the Oklahoma Military Academy Hall of Fame exemplify the highest standards of the Academy and its motto: Courage, Loyalty and Honor.
The Honorable James O. Ellison, '46
James 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 Goldfarb attended OMA from 1966 to 1969, graduating high school in 1967 and Junior College in 1969. For his last year at OMA, he was a Cadet Captain and was the Adjutant for the Corps of Cadets.
He then graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and attended graduate school at the University of Oklahoma where he majored in pharmacy and business. After pharmacy school, he fulfilled his active military commitment at Fort 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 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 50 employees to 1,200 employees and 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, which today is ranked 19th in the annual Fortune 500 survey. He worked for the company for five additional years before retiring as Vice President of Operations in its Healthcare Marketing Services Division.
After retirement, Phil started his own healthcare consulting company, was the founding and current president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tulsa, and served as a board member and officer of the Sherwin Miller Museum in Tulsa. He has written articles and lectured extensively on various topics in genealogy.
As a Board Member, Secretary-Treasurer and Vice President of the OMA Alumni Association, he spearheaded the Finding Lost Alumni Project, which has resulted to date in the location of more than 1,300 living "lost alumni" and more than 950 deceased "lost alumni." He recently assisted the new Military History Museum in Broken Arrow,Okla., with its opening as the Preparator and Curator.
He and his wife Lisa have been married for 38 years and the couple has two children and two grandchildren.