Commencement returns to Van Andel Arena this week with three ceremonies over two days

Graduate smiles and waves at someone in the crowd at commencement.
Image credit - Valerie Hendrickson

This year’s Commencement ceremonies will be the first to return to Van Andel since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The webpage, What to Expect on Commencement Day, will include information on arrival times, parking, COVID-19 precautions, the arena's no-bag policy and more.

More than 3,150 GVSU students are scheduled to cross the stage at the in-person events.

Ceremony details are outlined below:

Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m.

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Saturday, April 30, at 10 a.m. 

  • Seidman College of Business
  • College of Health Professions
  • Kirkhof College of Nursing

Saturday, April 30, at 3 p.m.

  • Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing
  • Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • College of Education and Community Innovation

At each ceremony, a member of the graduating class will speak. At the Friday ceremony, Amela Aganovic, majoring in computer science with a minor in German, will speak about her Laker experience as a second-generation American. At the Saturday morning ceremony, Gerard Cooke, returning graduate student receiving his master's in business administration, will speak about his experience as an adult learner. At the Saturday afternoon ceremony, Tamara Jones, majoring in social work, will speak of her excitement for her chosen profession and what GVSU has offered her.

President Philomena V. Mantella will give the Commencement address and the ceremony will also include remarks from Felix Ngassa, chair of University Academic Senate, and Chris Plouff, interim provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, will lead graduates in the moving of the tassel.

A livestream of the event will be available to view for those unable to attend.

At this time, Van Andel Arena does not require face masks. GVSU will monitor COVID-19 guidance from the CDC, state, and local public health officials. Plans will be adjusted as needed to address new orders, guidance, and data, as well as venue policies.


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