​York College recently recognized three alumni with the Heritage Alumni of the Year distinction: York native Gordon Fillman and Don and Ramona Ellison of Rising City, Neb. 

The awards were presented at a banquet on August 5 during a reunion of alumni who attended York College before 1954. 

See Reunion Photos

Fillman has been a pillar of the York community for more than half a century. He graduated from York High School in 1947 then attended York College, earning a pre-law degree in 1949. He finished law school at UNL, then served his country in the Navy. He returned to York in 1958 and established Fillman Law Offices. He still works as an attorney specializing in real estate, probate, and trusts.

“Mr. Fillman has been a wonderful representative for York College in the community for many years,” said Steve Eckman, president of the college. “We appreciate alumni who choose to put down roots in York and work to improve this place that we call home.”

After leaving York College in 1954, Don and Ramona Ellison finished their education at WestMar College and UNL. Ramona taught for several years and Don served in the Army. The couple have lived in Rising City since 1960. Don worked in banking and insurance for many years before ​pursuing entrepreneurial interests. 

The couple has invested themselves in their community and made a significant impact on Boy and Girl Scouts in their area through their active volunteer efforts over the last 50 years. Ramona has been a church musician for the past five decades and Don served many years on School and Education Service Unit boards.

The Ellisons have been instrumental at York College for organizing regular reunions for their classmates since the 90s.

“Mr. Fillman and the Ellisons exemplify what we desire for our graduates—a life of service to God, family, and society,” said President Eckman. “We are very proud of these alumni and the contributions they have made to their community and their college.”