Q.   When are the April Commencement ceremonies?
A:   The April Commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.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:   What Commencement gowns are approved to wear at the GVSU ceremony?
A:   Only the blue gowns made by Oak Hall will be accepted to wear at the ceremony. All other brands are not approved for our use.

Q:   Can I recycle my cap and gown after the ceremony?
A:   Yes! GreenerGrads will be collecting gowns immediately after the ceremony, as well as in the Kirkhof Center and 396C DeVos (Pew Campus) to use at the City High School graduation ceremony.

Q.   How many tickets will I receive? And where do I get my tickets for guests?
A:   Tickets will be available at GradFest. Each graduate will receive 6 tickets.

Q:   How can I be sure my name will be listed in the Commencement program?
A:   You MUST complete a graduation application by March 11, 2016 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 guest speaker for the 10 A.M. ceremony is Ms. La June Montgomery Tabron. The guest speaker for the 3 P.M. ceremony is The Honorable George K. Heartwell, Jr. 

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: http://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 main entrance on Fulton Street. 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 April 2016 Convocation?
A:   The College of Education April 2016 Convocation is Thursday, April 28, 2016, at Ottawa Hills High School (Grand Rapids). Students are required to wear full regalia in order to process/participate. To register for April 2016 Convocation go to: https://winter2016coeconvocation.eventbrite.com. For more information on Convocation, contact Forrest Clift at 616-331-6230 (clift@gvsu.edu) or visit http://www.gvsu.edu/coe/college-of-education-convocation-224.htm