Save the Date
We’ll celebrate the Class of 2023 on Saturday, April 29, at 2 p.m. in Calvin’s Van Noord Arena.

Announcements

A full Commencement weekend event schedule will be available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we’ve provided important information related to tickets, lodging, venue-specific details, and much more in the frequently asked questions section below.

Save the date(s)

  • Grad Salute February 15 (10 a.m.–3 p.m. or 5–7 p.m.) or February 16 (4–8 p.m.)
  • Nurse Pinning & Master’s Hooding Thursday, April 27 (times and locations TBA)
  • Honors Convocation Friday, April 28 (time and location TBA)
  • Commencement Saturday, April 29, at 2 p.m., Van Noord Arena

 

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?
    To be announced ...

  • When and where do I pick up the tickets I've ordered?
    A graduate can pick up their tickets between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on either April 27 or April 28, 2023. Ticket pickup location is Hoogenboom Health and Recreation Center Room 204 and a student ID is required.
  • 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 should email Lisa Meyer in the box office at tickets@calvin.edu.

  • 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?
    To be announced....

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

  • Will a professional photographer be capturing photos at the event?
    Yes. A photographer will be at the event and photos will be available for purchase via GradPix.
  • 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. More information on the post-Commencement gathering on campus will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • 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 online after the event.
  • I'm participating in the Commencement ceremony this April. Why am I not receiving email communications about graduation? 
    April 2023 graduates: Communication will be sent to seniors 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 graduates: If you are not receiving Commencement messages, email successcenter@calvin.edu to verify your preferred email address.
  • 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?
    To be announced....
     
  • 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?
    To be announced....

  • Where do I pick up my tickets and cap and gown? 
    A graduate can pick up these items in the Hoogenboom Health & Recreation Center (Room 204) on either April 27 or April 28, 2023 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. You must complete your grad survey in order to pick up your gown, and you must have your student ID to pick up your tickets.

  • I'm a graduate student; where do I pick up my hood?
    Your graduate hood is provided along with your cap and gown. All of these items will be available for distribution prior to the start of the master's hooding ceremony (time/place TBD).
     
  • Is there a rehearsal for Commencement, and is it required?
    Yes to both—the Commencement rehearsal for all graduates will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023 at 2:00 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 rehearsal 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).
  • What health and safety protocols are being followed for these events?
    We will follow the advice of our COVID Response Team at Calvin, who is making sure all events on campus adhere to current local and state health guidelines.
     
  • Who do I contact if I need accommodations for the ceremony?
    Graduates should request accessible seating for their guests on their ticket order form. All other accommodation requests should be made ASAP 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 1 to check-out of their room or apartment.
  • What if I don't see my question answered in these FAQs?
    December 2022/January 2023: Please visit this site later for updates. [February-April: For questions about Commencement tickets, email Lisa Meyer at tickets@calvin.edu. For questions about cap/gown orders, email [TBD]. For all other questions, email the Commencement Committee at commencement@calvin.edu.]
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