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You’ve worked hard for this!
We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Commencement Dates

School of Liberal Arts and School of STEM

Friday, April 28, 2023 at 4 p.m.

School of Business & Industry and School of Health Sciences

Friday, April 28, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.


Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse

Event Details

  • You will receive an email from the College with your scheduled ceremony details the week of April 17, 2023.
  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled ceremony, please check in with staff, and line up on the Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza.
    • The rain location will be the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.
  • There is no rehearsal prior to Commencement. Please keep this information with your cap and gown to review and reference on the day of the ceremony. Staff will be available to assist graduates to ensure a memorable commencement experience.
  • Graduates are required to follow the College’s COVID-19 protocol, wearing face coverings and maintaining 6-foot social distancing. Please visit for the college's protocol.

Before the Event

  • Take your cap, gown and stole out of the package in advance. Hang it in the bathroom while you are showering to remove any wrinkles. Do NOT iron!
  • If you are a member of Phi Theta Kappa, you may purchase a medallion to wear at Commencement. PTK Advisor, Lynnae Selberg, will contact you to complete the sale. Medallions will be distributed at GRADfest. Contact Lynnae Selberg at with any questions.
  • Military service members (past and present) will be recognized for their service with red, white, and blue cords. These will be distributed at GRADfest. Following GRADfest, they will be available in the Student Life Office.

Preparing for Arrival and Robing

Bring the following items with you:

  • Cap, gown, tassel and stole. Also, please adhere to the College’s face covering requirement.
  • The honors and veterans cords, Delta Pi Alpha, Phi Theta Kappa, culinary medallions, and nursing pins are approved to be worn with the graduation gown.
  • The tip of your mortar board should point to the front. Your tassel will start on the right side of your cap and will be moved to the left side during the ceremony when the president instructs you to stand and move it.


  • Parking on campus will be FREE.
  • Lyon Street will close to traffic 15 minutes before each scheduled ceremony. Once graduates are inside, the street will reopen to traffic.

Lineup Information

  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to your ceremony’s scheduled time for check in on the Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza. The rain location will be the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.
  • Follow the directions from greeters.
  • Once you are in line, please stay there and maintain 6-foot distancing for safety. If you have questions, ask staff working in your area.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be standing for an extended period of time. If you require any special accommodations, please contact the Student Life Office at (616) 234-4160.

During the Ceremony

  • When entering the graduation ceremony, 6-foot social distancing will be practiced.
  • You will be directed to sit in a specific row by an honor marshal. Please move all the way to the end of the row and fill every seat. This is critical, as the marshals are counting/tracking how many students are in each row.
  • When you are at your seat, stay standing.
  • President Pink will signal and ask you to be seated.
  • When it is time to cross the stage:
    • Marshals will signal your row to stand. The entire row will rise together.
    • A staff member will be placed at the ramp to verify your name before crossing the stage.
    • When signaled by the staff member, you will walk across the stage. Pause and smile for the photographer as you pick up your diploma cover.
    • You will then exit off the stage for an additional photo.
    • After your photo, return to your seat.
  • When it is time, you will be directed by the president to stand and move your tassel.
  • This is a formal academic ceremony and there is an expectation of respect and professionalism. We do not throw caps at the end of the ceremony.
  • All graduates are required to stay until the conclusion of the ceremony out of respect to your fellow grads.

After the Ceremony

  • Staff will lead you out of the building. When exiting the graduation ceremony, 6-foot social distancing will be practiced.
  • Consider donating your gown! There will be boxes to drop gowns in on the plaza if you are willing to donate them for future graduates.

Additional Information

  • Photographs – two photographs will be taken of each graduate. One with the college president as each graduate receives a diploma cover, and one photo just off the exit ramp. You will receive an email after the ceremony to purchase photos. There is no obligation to purchase. Questions? Please contact Call Photography at (800) 997-4980.

Please note:

  • Participation in the ceremony does not guarantee graduation. Your record will be reviewed after all grades are submitted and your diploma will be mailed upon degree verification.
  • If you require special accommodations during the line-up process or ceremony, please contact Student Life at (616) 234-4160 or email
  • If your plans change and you will no longer be participating in the ceremony, please call the Student Life Office at (616) 234-4160.
  • For additional questions and assistance, call (616) 234-4160.