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 ordering and then distributing your e-tickets, cap and gown pickup times, 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.

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 does one distribute e-tickets to their guests?
    1. After claiming your tickets, students will receive an email from Fevo and a 2nd confirmation email from ordertracking@tickets.com.
    2. If you haven’t set up an account with Tickets.com, you will need to do so here and click the Sign Up button. You will enter in your first name, last name, the email address you used to place your order, and will create a password for your account. After signing up, you will be able to view your ticket order when you go to your MyTickets account.
    3. If you already have an account with Tickets.com, you can manage your tickets at https://www.tickets.com/user/login/.
    4. After logging into your account, click “view tickets” and then click the “forward” button.
    5. Select the tickets you want to forward.
    6. Insert the name(s) of guest(s) you want to forward to.
    7. Forward tickets to desired recipients.
  • 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.

  • I am not attending in-person, when can I expect my name to read?
    Class of 2020 graduates who are not attending the 2020 ceremony will have their name and photo (if one was submitted on time) projected on the ballpark's big board prior to the formal portion of the ceremony. Each graduate who is not attending will also have their name read on the livestream beginning at 10:30 a.m. The names will be read in alphabetical order regardless of earned degree. The names and photos will be repeated immediately following the recessional in case you missed them at 10:30 a.m.

    Class of 2021 graduates who are not attending the 2021 ceremony will have their names and a photo (if one was submitted on time) projected on the ballpark's big board at the start of the presentation of diplomas section of the formal program. Each graduate who is not attending will also have their name read at this time. This will also appear on the livestream at this time.
  • 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 for the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021, and the ceremony will also be archived there after the event.

  • I am not attending in-person, when can I expect my name to read?
    Class of 2020 graduates who are not attending the 2020 ceremony will have their name and photo (if one was submitted on time) projected on the ballpark's big board prior to the formal portion of the ceremony. Each graduate who is not attending will also have their name read on the livestream beginning at 10:30 a.m. The names will be read in alphabetical order regardless of earned degree. The names and photos will be repeated immediately following the recessional in case you missed them at 10:30 a.m.

    Class of 2021 graduates who are not attending the 2021 ceremony will have their names and a photo (if one was submitted on time) projected on the ballpark's big board at the start of the presentation of diplomas section of the formal program. Each graduate who is not attending will also have their name read at this time. This will also appear on the livestream at this time.
  • 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 by Thursday, May 20, 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 the ordering deadline was Friday, May 7. If you still need to place a late order, email commencement@calvin.edu with your name, height, weight, and degree (bachelor's/master's); we will be able to provide a gown but exact sizing is no longer guaranteed.

    Students who still need to pick up their cap and gown can do so at the LMCU Ballpark on Saturday, May 22, from 9-10:30 a.m. (for Class of 2020) or from 1:30-3:00 p.m. (for Class of 2021).

    Note: This year, gowns do not need to be returned following the ceremony.

  • 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 'in-person attendance" response on the cap and gown order serves as confirmation of your plan to attend in-person. Those who did not submit a gown order by the May 7 deadline (or who ordered a gown for photos only) will have their name read as a virtual graduate.

  • I am not attending in-person, when can I expect my name to be read?

    Class of 2020 graduates who are not attending the 2020 ceremony will have their names and a photo (if one was submitted) projected on the ballpark's big board prior to the ceremony. Each graduate who is not attending will also have their name read on the livestream beginning at 10:30 a.m. The names will be read in alphabetical order regardless of earned degree. The names and photos will be repeated immediately following the recessional in case you missed them at 10:30 a.m.

    Class of 2021 graduates who are not attending the 2021 ceremony will have their names and a photo (if one was submitted) projected on the big board at the start of the presentation of diplomas section of the program. Each graduate who is not attending will also have their name read at this time.

  • 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 have submitted your photo to commencement@calvin.edu by Friday, May 7. This segment of the ceremony has been pre-recorded so photos are no longer being accepted.

  • How can I share pronunciation of my name with name readers?
    Information on how to do this was shared via email with graduates in a Wednesday, May 12 email. Deadline for graduates to submit the form with the proper pronunciation of their name was Friday, May 14.

  • 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?
    Given recent CDC and state guidelines, masks will be optional for attendees and graduates while outdoors. Indoor spaces such as restrooms will require masking by those who are not fully vaccinated (i.e. two weeks past final shot). Seating for graduates will be socially distanced, and capacity limits at the venue will allow for all guests to likewise sit with social distancing between family units. Sight lines from all seats are excellent, so please use all available seating in the ballpark, leaving empty chairs or rows between groups.

  • 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. Capacity limits at the venue will allow for social distancing between family units, and sight lines are excellent from all seats.

  • 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 playing field (infield or outfield) inside the stadium. 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 are available to guests and families via livestream (by clicking the event's name at the time of the 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 had 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.

  • 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.