FAQs

Q.   When is the December Commencement ceremony?
A:   The December Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 6 2014 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:   Each Graduate will receive 9 guest tickets. You are able to pick up your guest tickets 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 October 17, 2014 in order to be listed. Fill out an application online here. 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 will last approximately two and a half hours.

Q: Who is the guest speaker for the Commencement ceremony?
A: The speaker for the December Commencement Ceremony is Laurie Beard. She is the President of Founders Bank & Trust.

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.

Q:   Where do I get announcements?
A:   Custom graduation announcements will be available online through Signature Announcements at www.signaturea.com or Jostens at www.jostens.com/college. Please allow two (2) weeks for delivery.

Q:   Where can I purchase flowers and t-shirts ahead of time?
A:   Commencement Flowers provides graduates and guests with the opportunity to pre-order their flowers online.  The Commencement Flowers website can be linked directly to the Commencement page on the school’s website so that customers purchase and reserve their flowers ahead of time and have them available for pick-up at our location at Commencement. The web address for your school is: www.CommencementFlowers.com/index.php/GVSU

Q:   I studied abroad; how do I order my International Graduation Sash?
A:   E-mail Vicki Wenger in the Padnos International Center at wengerv@gvsu.edu.

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 valuables 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 arena?
A:   All tassels are to be on the right side of the cap for Bachelor students. During the ceremony, undergraduate students will move the tassel to the left   when instructed. Masters/Doctorate 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 2014 Convocation?
A:   The College of Education Fall 2014 Convocation will be held Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at DeVos Performance Hall in downtown Grand Rapids. Students are required to wear full regalia in order to process/participate. To register to Fall 2014 Convocation go to: https://2014fallconvocation.eventbrite.com. Students  interested 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 20, 2014 in the Wege Ballroom. To audition or for more information on Convocation, contact Forrest Clift at x16230 (clift@gvsu.edu).