February 25, 2021 | Matt Kucinski

An aerial view of a minor league ballpark in Grand Rapids, Michigan
LMCU Ballpark in Grand Rapids, Michigan will be the site of Calvin University's Commencement doubleheader.

Four years of hard work is worthy of a grand celebration. But the pandemic and the related health and safety protocols are making events look a lot different than in past years: graduation celebrations included.

“This is a grand achievement,” said Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin University, “and our students who are finishing their Calvin career during these times deserve a celebration that honors their excellence and resilience.”

Fans in the stands

As in any major sporting event, most would agree that celebrating a big win, such as earning a degree, is best done in front of your home crowd, with your biggest fans surrounding you in the stands. For grads, those fans include family, friends, their fellow grads, and the faculty and staff who guided or coached them along the way.

At colleges and universities across the country, the pandemic is threatening this dynamic. Calvin University’s Commencement committee realized that if they were to hold such a large gathering on campus, the state’s health and safety guidelines would mean losing the home crowd.

So, the committee decided to deliver a changeup in the hopes of knocking this year’s Commencement out of the park.

Hosting a doubleheader

On May 22, 2021, Calvin University will host a Commencement double-header. And they’ll do this at the LMCU Ballpark, the home stadium for the Detroit Tigers High-A affiliate West Michigan Whitecaps. At 11 a.m. the Class of 2020 will take the mound for their graduation ceremony. At 3:30 p.m. it’ll be the Class of 2021 who will suit up and walk to receive their diplomas.

Both rosters of grads are loaded with talented players ready to be called up to the big league.

For more information, including FAQs, visit the Commencement website.

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