Retired U.S. Air Force colonel, alumnus to give BenU Commencement address

March 1, 2017

Col. Lee DeRemer, Ph.D. ’14, founded Lifecycles, a nonprofit cycling organization focused on mentoring young men

Lee DeRemer, Ph.D.

Lisle, Illinois ~ Lee DeRemer, Ph.D., a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, will address graduates at Benedictine University’s 127th Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 13. DeRemer served in the Air Force for 26 years as a pilot, commander and a strategic planner for the U.S. Department of Defense at the Pentagon. He has taught leadership skills to military officers, government officials and students. He has led Boy Scouts, youth and men’s ministries and is an experienced bicycle tour guide. 

An avid cyclist, DeRemer founded Lifecycles, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit organization that helps teenage boys from challenging backgrounds develop educational, leadership and personal skills through cycling. The program places an emphasis on participants to complete school and enter the workforce, trade school or college.

DeRemer earned a Ph.D. in Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University in 2014. He previously earned a Master of Science in National Security Strategy at National Defense University; a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies at U.S. Naval War College; and a Master of Public Administration at Central Michigan University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

In 2016, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from Benedictine’s Center for Values-Driven Leadership in recognition of his transformative impact on business and society through values-driven leadership.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 9,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. A 2016 PayScale Inc. report ranked BenU one of the top 10 colleges in Illinois for return on investment and in the top 20 percent nationally. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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