We will celebrate the Class of 2024 on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Calvin University’s Van Noord Arena. Check the 2024 schedule for details.

 

Gifts for Grads

Download Commencement announcements, order custom Class of 2024 t-shirts and blankets from the online Knights store, or order fresh flowers online which will be available for pickup on Calvin’s campus before the ceremony.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many guests can each graduate invite?
    Each graduate can order four guest tickets for the ceremony in Van Noord Arena. A live broadcast of the ceremony will be available for additional guests in the Covenant Fine Arts Center on campus; grads can order up to 10 tickets for this overflow venue.

  • How does one order tickets?
    Graduates will use the Commencement Checklist (coming in late January) to order tickets. Deadline: April 12.

  • When and where do I pick up the tickets I've ordered?
    Tickets can be picked up on Thursday, May 2 or Friday, May 3 at the Hoogenboom Health & Recreation Center (Room 204). Note: A student ID will be required to pick up your tickets.
  • What if I need to change the ticket order I submitted?
    All graduates who request tickets will receive four tickets to the Arena. Graduates who need to make a change to their existing order for CFAC overflow tickets can edit the ticket count in their Commencement checklist through April 12.

  • How can a graduate find additional tickets for more than four guests or give away tickets they don’t need?
    Graduates can network with classmates to find friends who have tickets to share or who need tickets. Please note that it is illegal to sell tickets above the purchase price (which is $0). Calvin University will not be re-distributing tickets. Please know that graduates can also request tickets for the overflow venue in the Covenant Fine Arts Center to accommodate their additional guests.

  • What will seating look like?
    Seating will be general admission. Seats in the upper bowl have backs; seats in the lower bowl are bleachers.
  • Will there be accessible seating available?
    Yes, both the Van Noord Arena and Covenant Fine Arts Center have accessible seating available for those who require it. Graduates must request accessible seating for their guests when they order tickets. The Van Noord Arena has steep steps; the CFAC is the preferred venue for those who need softer seats or shorter distances to walk.

    • Van Noord Arena: Specific seats in the lower three rows of the arena’s upper bowl have been assigned for graduates’ guests who requested accessible seats in advance. These seats are only for the person needing accessible seating and one guest; additional family members are assigned to general admission seating. At ticket pick-up, graduates will receive pink tickets for these seats and specific instructions on where to find them.

    • Covenant Fine Arts Center: Specific accessible seats will be assigned for those who request them in advance.
  • How long will the ceremony be?
    The ceremony lasts approximately 2 hours.

  • When will doors open?
    Doors will open one hour prior to the start of the ceremony, so at 1 p.m. EST.

  • Will food or beverages be available for sale at the event?
    No.

  • Can I bring my own food or beverages into the arena?
    Bringing food or beverage inside the arena is not permitted.

  • Will there be a post-Commencement gathering on campus?
    Yes, the graduate recessional will lead graduates outside the venue. There will be a handful of gathering spaces based on major and program that students and their families can visit for light refreshments and to visit with faculty and their fellow graduates. A Commencement map will be included in the event program and will be available online mid-April.
  • What if I cannot join in-person for the ceremony in April?
    For those graduates and/or their guests who are not able to attend Commencement, we will be streaming the event live on this Commencement website as well as on the Calvin University YouTube channel. The video recording will also be available to view online after the event.
  • I'm participating in the Commencement ceremony this May. Why am I not receiving email communications about graduation? 
    Communication is being sent to seniors and graduate-level students who have applied to graduate. Please apply for your degree. If you think that you have already done this, please contact successcenter@calvin.edu.

    December 2023 graduates: If you are not receiving Commencement messages, ensure that you are checking your Calvin University email address. If you still do not see any communication, email successcenter@calvin.edu.
  • How many guests can each graduate invite?
    Each graduate will receive four guest tickets for the ceremony in Van Noord Arena. Overflow seating will be available in the Covenant Fine Arts Center for up to 10 additional guests.

  • How do I order Commencement ceremony tickets? Cookout tickets?
    Commencement ceremony tickets can be ordered by using the Commencement Checklist. Deadline: April 12.

  • How can I find additional tickets for more than four guests or give away tickets I don't need? 
    Graduates can network with classmates to find friends who have tickets to share or who need tickets. Please note that it is illegal to sell tickets above the purchase price (which is $0). Calvin University will not be re-distributing tickets. Please know that graduates can also request up to 10 tickets for the overflow venue in the Covenant Fine Arts Center to accommodate their additional guests.
     
  • How do I order my cap and gown?
    Use the Commencement Checklist to order your cap and gown. Orders are due by March 15, 2024. There is no charge for these items. For questions or issues, email commencement@calvin.edu.

  • Undergraduate students: Where do I pick up my tickets and cap and gown? 
    Tickets and cap and gown pickup are in [Location TBA]. You can pick up these items on Thursday or Friday, May 2 or 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Note: A student ID will be required to pick up your tickets, and you must complete your grad survey in order to pick up your gown.

  • Graduate students: Where do I pick up my tickets, cap/gown, and hood?
    Master's degree grads should plan to pick up all of these items prior to the start of the Master's Hooding Ceremony (grad check-in time TBA). If you do not attend the Master's Hooding on Thursday evening, then you may pick up your items at the undergraduate ticket pick-up location on Friday (details above). A student ID or another photo ID (e.g. driver's license) will be required to pick up your tickets; please complete your grad survey in advance to ensure quick check-in on arrival.
     
  • Is there a rehearsal for Commencement, and is it required?
    Yes to both—the Commencement rehearsal for all graduates will be held on Friday, May 3, 2024 at 2 p.m. in the Van Noord Arena. We'll explain all the details to make the event successful, from when and where to gather prior to the ceremony, to how the procession and the diploma distribution will work. The brief 30-minute rehearsal is required for undergraduate students (grad students welcome too) and will be followed by a social time for all graduates, snacks included, sponsored by the Alumni Association!

    In the event that you are unable to attend the rehearsal, please email commencement@calvin.edu and designate a friend or classmate to collect the needed information for your assigned gathering space and seating area.
     
  • What time must I arrive to line up for the ceremony?
    We'll review these details at the Commencement rehearsal, but in short, graduates should plan to arrive by 1:25 p.m. and gather in the Hoogenboom Health and Recreation Center to form the processional lines. Please enter from the West entry doors and check-in at the table in the Hoogenboom lobby (on the stairway landing).

  • When will my access to Calvin-related technology expire?
    Within a week or two of completing all the coursework for your degree you will receive an email notifying you of your account expiration and further details about transferring your files. If you would like to get a head start, please follow these instructions.
  • What health and safety protocols are being followed for these events?
    Calvin Campus Safety staff will be present to provide security and first aid/emergency response assistance at all times. The wearing of face masks is optional for anyone with concerns about COVID or other transmissible illnesses.
     
  • Who do I contact if I need accommodations for the ceremony?
    Graduates should request accessible seating for their guests on their ticket order form (Commencement checklist). All other accommodation requests should be made by April 12 to commencement@calvin.edu
  • What audio and visual accommodations are available? 
    • The Covenant Fine Arts Center has a Loop hearing aid audio system available. The arena has limited Loop audio available only in the upper bowl on the west end (the end near the main lobby) in sections 209–215.
    • Closed captioning will be available on the live video feed and on the screens in the arena.
    • The sign language interpreter will be on the SE upper corner of the arena—the right side as you are facing the stage, near section 204.
    • A limited number of large-print programs will be available at the information desks in the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex and the Covenant Fine Arts Center's west lobby.
       
  • Are wheelchairs available? 
    A limited number of wheelchairs will be available for the Commencement ceremony and the Commencement reception upon request at the information desk in the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex.
  • Which building entrances are accessible?
    • Van Noord Arena: Enter the main lobby from the south entrance near North Hall (preferred) where there is a wheelchair ramp. The north entrance (near parking lot 7) is also on the main building level. There is an elevator inside the west entrance.
    • Covenant Fine Arts Center: Use the north or south entrance.
    • For more information about accessible entrances, see the campus accessibility map.
  • What about accessible seating and accessible parking?
    Please see the FAQs about tickets/seating and parking for these details.
  • What parking is available to campus guests?
    Please see the Calvin Visitor Parking Map for directions to all lots below. Parking is free on campus in all visitor lots.
  • Where do guests park for events in the Fieldhouse?
    If entering campus from Burton Street or the East Beltline, use Lots 1–5. If entering from Lake Drive, use Lots 7–8. Lot 6 will be reserved for those with accessibility needs and handicapped parking tags; the south circle drive will be open for drop-offs for these guests as well.
  • Where do guests park for events in the Covenant Fine Arts Center?
    Please park in Lots 9–10. There are several spaces by the north and south entrances reserved for handicapped parking. You may also park by the Prince Center (use Lot 15; Lot 14 is closed) and take Calvin's Crossing over to the CFAC.
  • Where do graduates, faculty, and staff park?
    You are asked to park in the Prince Center lot (Lots 15–16) and walk from there in order to provide enough parking spaces for all our guests.
  • How much time should I leave to find parking?
    While we have enough parking to accommodate all guests, we recommend you plan for 15 minutes to navigate busy lots and walk to the arena.
  • If I live outside of west Michigan, what are my lodging options?
    The Prince Conference Center (located on campus) is full for this weekend. There are many options near Calvin University. Please note that Calvin is approximately a 15-minute drive from Gerald Ford International Airport. Check ExperienceGR for hotel options.

  • Will seniors who are currently living on campus have an option of staying in their residence through Commencement weekend?
    Yes, they will have the option of staying (at no additional charge for the housing). Seniors staying through Commencement will have until 10 a.m. on Monday, May 6 to check-out of their room or apartment.
  • What if I don't see my question answered in these FAQs?
    For questions about Commencement ceremony tickets, cap/gown orders, or any other arrangements, email the Commencement Committee at commencement@calvin.edu.
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