Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When is the Commencement Ceremony?
A: The Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 7 2013 at 10 a.m. in the
Van Andel Arena, downtown Grand Rapids.
Q: How do I get my cap and gown?
A: Caps, gowns, tickets and other graduation information will be available at GradFest. Please see
the GradFest page for important information!
Q. How many tickets will I receive? And where do I get my tickets for guests?
A: Students participating in the December 7, 2013 Commencement Ceremony will be issued 9 guest
tickets. Tickets are distributed at the same time that cap and gowns are purchased at GradFest.
Q: How can I be sure my name will be listed in the Commencement program?
A: You MUST complete a graduation application by Friday, October, 18, 2013 in order to be listed.
Completed applications may be emailed to Audit@gvsu.edu or they can be returned in person
to the Student Assistance Center in Allendale (150 STU) or at the Grand Rapids Pew Campus
(115C DeVos),by fax to (616) 331-2000, or by mail to the Registrar's office, 150 Student Services,
Allendale, MI, 49401
Q: How long does the Commencement Ceremony last?
A: Typically, the Commencement Ceremony lasts approximately two and a half hours.
Q: Who is the guest speaker for the Commencement Ceremony?
A: The speaker for this year's Fall Commencement ceremony will be Hank Meijer, the
Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Meijer Incorporated.
Q: Are tickets required for young children?
A: Tickets are required for everyone over two years of age. Children under two must sit
on someone's lap.
Additional information for ordering Graduation Announcements is available at the University
Q: Where can I purchase flowers and t-shirts ahead of time?
place your order, they will be ready for pick-up the day of the ceremony.
Q: I studied abroad; how do I order my International Graduation Sash?
Q: What about disability access?
A: Guests who need mobility assistance should enter the Arena at the southwest corner entrance
near the Handicap Parking Lot. Arena staff will direct guests upon entering the facility. NOTE: Due
to the high number of special needs guests attending the commencement ceremony it is not
always possible to have entire families seated together. Access to most of the arena seating
requires climbing or descending steps.
Q: Where can graduates put their purse and/or other valubles during the ceremony?
A: Since there are no lockers available, graduates are discouraged from bringing purses
or other valuables with them to the ceremony. (Another option would be to leave your
purse or other valuables with your guests.)
Q: Which side of the student’s cap is the tassel supposed to hang when entering the
A: All tassels are to be on the right side of the cap for undergraduate students. During the
ceremony, undergraduate students will move the tassel to the left
when instructed. Graduate students will process into the arena with the tassel on the left where it will remain for the duration of the ceremony.
Q: Where do graduates meet guests after the ceremony?
A: Prearrange a meeting spot outside of the Arena with your families and guests after
the ceremony. Approximately 9,000 people will exit at the same time and it is difficult to locate
your family and guests. Consider meeting at a lunch location. Reservations are recommended.
Q: May family members take photographs?
A: Photos may be taken from seats. No one from the audience is permitted to be on
the Commencement floor. During the ceremony Graduation Foto will take two pictures of each
graduate as they receive their diploma.
Q: Why do we call the ceremony Commencement instead of Graduation?
A: Students sometimes refer to Commencement as Graduation; however, officially, graduation is
defined as when a student has completed all the requirements for his or her degree whereas
Commencement is the name of the actual ceremony.
Q: When is the College of Education December 2013 Convocation?
A: The College of Education Fall 2013 Convocation will be held Tuesday, December 3,
2013 at 7:00 p.m. at DeVos Perfomance Hall in downtown Grand Rapids. Students
are required to wear full regalia in order to process/participate. To register to Fall
2013 Convocation go to: https://fall2013coeconvocation.eventbrite.com/. Students
interests in being a keynote speaker or the National Anthem soloist for the event
may audition immediately following the autumn “FIRE UP” Conference at Aquinas
College on Monday, October 21, 2013 in the Wege Ballroom. To audition or for more
information on Convocation, contact Forrest Clift at x16230 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Page last modified October 28, 2013