On Saturday, May 22, 2021 we will celebrate Commencement at the LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan (just north of Grand Rapids). We will celebrate the Class of 2020 at 11 a.m. EST and the Class of 2021 at 3:30 p.m. EST. You will be able to invite two guests to join you for this momentous occasion.

Graduates

There are a number of details you’ll need to attend to prior to your Commencement ceremony to make sure you are all set to graduate. You can find a list of these items under the graduates section of the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 pages, including information on when you can order your tickets and cap and gown and how to update your contact information. You’ll also have access to digital downloads and be able to order apparel to help you celebrate this momentous occasion. For those who are not able to attend the in-person celebration, you’ll be able to submit a photo for inclusion in the ceremony.

Guests & Families

Whether you are traveling to Grand Rapids for the event or joining the celebration virtually from home, you can find the information you’ll need in the 2020 and 2021 Guests & Families sections. Each graduate will be able to invite two guests to their in-person ceremony.

Venue

The 2020 and 2021 Commencement ceremonies are taking place off-site at Lake Michigan Credit Union Ballpark, which is located just north of Grand Rapids (about 10 miles from Calvin University’s main campus). More information on the venue, including a seating map are available in the "Venue Details" section of the FAQ below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many guests can each graduate invite?
    Each graduate, whether attending the ceremony in-person or virtually, is able to secure two general admission "guest tickets" for the ceremony.

  • How does one order tickets?
    Graduates are responsible for ordering tickets for their guests. An email from commencement@calvin.edu was sent to graduates on Wednesday, April 28 (in the evening) with a link to order tickets. Grads will need to use their student ID  number to place their order, and they will need to provide the name of their guests with their order for contact tracing purposes. Tickets are not able to be edited once they are ordered. Graduates are responsible for distributing e-tickets to their guests.

  • How can a graduate find additional tickets for more than two 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.

  • What will seating look like?
    Just like in Calvin’s Van Noord Arena (where Commencement is typically held), seating will be general admission and the majority of LMCU Ballpark’s seating is bleacher-style. Download the Commencement Map to get an idea for how the venue will be setup for Commencement.

  • Will there be accessible seating available?
    Yes, LMCU Ballpark has accessible seating available for those who require it. Guests can ask for assistance when they arrive at the ballpark and ushers will assist them.

  • How long will each ceremony be?
    Both ceremonies will last approximately 90 minutes, give or take 10-15 minutes based on the total number of graduates who attend.

  • When will doors open?
    Doors will open one hour prior to the start of each ceremony, so 10 a.m. for the Class of 2020 and 2:30 p.m. for the Class of 2021.

  • 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.

  • What are the options for post-Commencement gatherings?
    The graduate recessional will lead graduates out of the ballpark. Families and friend groups can make arrangements to connect outside the ballpark briefly for photos, but will not be allowed on the grass field. Our LMCU partners have asked that any pre-or-post-ceremony gatherings happen off-site, both to limit foot traffic on their grass field and to help them follow state guidelines throughout their ballpark and parking facilities.
  • What if I cannot join the ceremony in May?
    For those graduates and/or their guests who are not able to attend a Commencement ceremony in May, we will be streaming the events live on the Calvin Commencement website, and the ceremony will also be archived there after the event.

  • How many guests can each graduate invite?
    Each graduate, whether attending the ceremony in-person or virtually, is able to secure two general admission "guest tickets" for the ceremony.

  • How do I order tickets?
    Graduates received an email from commencement@calvin.edu on Wednesday, April 28 (in the evening), with a link to order their tickets. Grads will need to use their student ID number to place their order, and they will need to provide the name of their guests with their order for contact tracing purposes. Tickets are not able to be edited once they are ordered. Graduates are responsible for distributing e-tickets to their guests.

  • How can I find additional tickets for more than two 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.

  • How do I order my cap and gown? Where do I pick them up?
    Graduates have received emails from commencement@calvin.edu with their link to order their caps and gowns. There is no charge for these orders, but orders must be placed by Friday, May 7.

    Graduates are encouraged to pick up their caps and gowns on campus in Hoogenboom 280.

    Class of 2021 dates/times
    Tuesday, May 11, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    Wednesday, May 12, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

    Class of 2020 dates/times
    Thursday, May 13, 3 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    Saturday, May 15, 9 a.m. - 12 noon

    Students who are not able to pick up their cap and gown during one of these listed times can pick them up at the LMCU Ballpark on Saturday, May 22, from 9-10:30 a.m. or from 1:30-3:00 p.m.

    Note: This year, gowns do not need to be returned following the ceremony. However, master's graduates will need to return their hoods per instructions from their academic department.

  • How and when do I let Calvin know if I’m planning to attend in-person or virtually?
    While we did ask in a survey sent out in late March/early April for graduates to state their intended plans, we used that information simply to project attendance.

    Your cap and gown order serves as confirmation of your plan to attend in-person (there is a question in that order form that specifically asks about in-person attendance). We will know that you plan NOT to attend in-person by your submitting a photo of yourself to commencement@calvin.edu. In your absence, this photo will be displayed on the big board when your name is read during the ceremony. Both of these action steps must be taken by Friday, May 7. Note: if you change your plans after submitting either of these items, please contact commencement@calvin.edu so we can update our attendance records.

  • If not attending, how do I ensure my photo appears during the ceremony?
    If you are unable or choose not to attend the Commencement ceremony in-person, you must submit your photo to commencement@calvin.edu by Friday, May 7. This photo will appear when your name is read. Your photo should be a more formal headshot and be 300 dpi or approximately 1MB or greater in size. Please include your name and class year with your submission.

  • How can I share pronunciation of my name with name readers?
    You will have the opportunity to connect with your assigned name-readers closer to the ceremony date. More information will be shared via email and on the Commencement site by mid-May.

  • I am graduating this May, why am I not receiving email communications about graduation?
    Class of 2021: Communication was 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.

    Class of 2020 and January 2021 graduates: Communication is being sent to the non-Calvin email you provided on the grad survey in May 2020. If you are not receiving Commencement messages, email alumni@calvin.edu to verify your preferred email address.

  • What health and safety protocols are being taken for the event?
    While these may change slightly based on local and state health protocols, at this time masks will be required for all attendees (graduates included). In addition, seating for graduates and guests will follow social distancing guidelines.

  • What will seating look like?
    Just like in Calvin’s Van Noord Arena (where Commencement is typically held), seating will be general admission and the majority of LMCU Ballpark’s seating is bleacher-style. Download the Commencement Map to get an idea for how the venue will be setup for Commencement.

  • Will there be accessible seating available?
    Yes, LMCU Ballpark has accessible seating available for those who require it. Guests can ask for assistance when they arrive at the ballpark and ushers will assist them.

  • Will food or beverages be available for sale at the event?
    Non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.

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

  • Will there be parking nearby?
    Parking is one of the many reasons we chose LMCU Ballpark. There is plenty of parking adjacent to the venue.

  • What are the options for post-Commencement gatherings?
    The graduate recessional will lead graduates out of the ballpark. Families and friend groups can make arrangements to connect outside the ballpark briefly for photos, but will not be allowed on the grass field. Our LMCU partners have asked that any pre-or-post-ceremony gatherings happen off-site, both to limit foot traffic on their grass field and to help them follow state guidelines throughout their ballpark and parking facilities.
  • If I live outside of west Michigan, what are my lodging options?
    Guests can check availability at Calvin’s Prince Conference Center (located on campus). There are many options near Calvin University and also several options located within a few miles of the ballpark. Please note that Calvin is approximately 10 miles southeast (or 15-20 minutes without traffic) of LMCU Ballpark.

  • Will seniors who are currently living on campus have an option of staying in their residence through May 22?
    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 24 to check-out of their room or apartment.

  • When will smaller department events be scheduled for the Class of 2021 (such as pinning, hooding, commissioning-type ceremonies).
    We are sharing information with students as these events are finalized. Please note that in-person attendance for these smaller departmental celebrations is limited to faculty, staff, and students. However, most of the events listed below will be available to guests and families via livestream (by clicking the event's name at the time of the event). Those links will be available a few days prior to the scheduled event. Note: All event times listed below are ET.

    Speech Pathology and Audiology Celebration
    Thursday, May 13, 7 p.m.
    CFAC Auditorium

    Nursing Commissioning Ceremony
    Saturday, May 15, 11 a.m.
    CFAC Auditorium

    Education Program Commissioning
    Saturday, May 15, 3 p.m.
    CFAC Auditorium

    Social Work Commissioning Ceremony
    Monday, May 17, 7 p.m.
    CFAC Auditorium

    Honors Celebration
    Tuesday, May 18, 7 p.m.
    CFAC Auditorium

    Master of Accounting Celebration
    Thursday, May 20, 7 p.m.
    CFAC Tent

    Note: Class of 2021 grads who are unable to attend their graduation ceremony will have an opportunity to pick up a diploma portfolio and have their picture taken with President Le Roy on Thursday, May 14 at 3 p.m. at the CFAC (specific location in CFAC to be determined).

  • Are any other traditional Commencement Week events happening?
    No other events outside of the main Commencement ceremonies and perhaps the smaller department events listed above will be happening on campus during Commencement Week.

  • Will there be an in-person Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021?
    Yes. Calvin will host two separate in-person commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Both events will take place at the same location (LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan – located just north of Grand Rapids). The Class of 2020’s ceremony will be at 11 a.m. EST, the Class of 2021’s at 3:30 p.m. EST.

  • What factored into the decision to move Commencement off-campus?
    As we developed commencement plans, our priority has been to find a venue that could accommodate hundreds of graduates and at least some of their guests given current and expected health and safety guidelines. We were not able to identify an indoor facility or an optimal outdoor space on campus to hold these events while adhering to health and safety protocols. We did, however, find an ideal option close by that would provide graduates and their families with a memorable Commencement experience. Having a generous amount of parking near the venue also factored into the decision.

  • Why were the dates changed for the Commencement ceremonies?
    In short, to work around the schedule of the venue we selected.

  • Did you explore other venues that would have allowed the initial dates to stay the same?
    Yes, we did explore other venues. We could have kept the same dates but would have needed to compromise on the experience of our graduates and guests to do so. We found LMCU Ballpark to be an ideal option for the Commencement ceremonies. While we looked at a number of other venues, we found that LMCU Ballpark would provide the best viewing options for both in-person and remote guests. At the park, the ceremonies will be projected on the jumbo screen, which will provide a clear picture even in direct sunlight. LMCU Ballpark will also provide a high-quality video feed for families and friends watching online.