Dr. Bruce Rippeteau, President Emeritus, Celebrate Freedom Foundation
Dr. Bruce Rippeteau, one of original founders of the Celebrate Freedom Foundation, previously served as Secretary and President of the Foundation. Now retired, he serves as President Emeritus.
He was Research Professor and Director of the S.C. Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA), University of South Carolina, when SCIAA excavated the 16th Century Spanish Colonial Capitol of Santa Elena (now USMC Parris Island), and a multi-state and federal team recovered the Confederate submarine Hunley from Charleston Harbor.
A private pilot who possesses a Ham radio Extra license (AC0ZT), Rippeteau served as Vice Chairman of the Richland County Airport Commission when the CFF hosted its first patriotic air shows at Jim Hamiton - L.B. Owens Airport in Columbia. He was also active in the S.C. Aviation Association, especially the association’s S.C. Hall of Fame Committee.
Rippeteau served as President of the Rotary Club of Columbia (20th largest Rotary Club of 34,000 clubs worldwide), President of the Piedmont Chapter of the Explorers Club (1 of 15 chapters worldwide) and on the Advisory Board of the Association of the U.S. Army at Ft Jackson. More recently, he served as a volunteer auxiliary staff officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Ninth District.
Rippeteau, the first OSHA-approved Dive Safety Officer in South Carolina and a S.C. Credit Union Board Member, has received letters of appreciation for his service from state and federal agencies.