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Graduation and Commencement


We are excited to recognize your successful academic journey. As you begin to prepare for the big day, it is important to note that tickets are not required and seating is open to all guests of our graduates. Please be mindful of limited parking and construction downtown as you plan for your arrival.

Find additional information and resources below:



Sunday, April 26, 2020
Van Andel Arena
130 W. Fulton Street

Grand Rapids, MI 49503


12:30 pm - Doors open (all graduates and guests are asked to arrive at the main entrance)
1:00 pm - Graduates asked to arrive (*late arrivals may not be able to participate)
2:00 pm - Processional to begin
5:00 pm - Commencement ceremony averages 2.5-3 hours


  • Parking is available in many ramps and lots surrounding Van Andel Arena. All parking areas charge a fee ranging from $6 to $12. 

Downtown Construction

  • A major construction project is underway around Van Andel Arena involving road and parking lot closures. Please check Van Andel Arena's website for current road and parking closures. 
  • Construction season has also begun on the Grand Rapids highways. Please ensure that you are leaving extra time for travel.
    • I-96 is closed near Portland
    • I-196 has intermittent closings near downtown Grand Rapids
    • EB I-196 closure near M-6

Security Protocols

  • All guests and graduates entering the arena are subject to metal detector screening, visual inspection and a bag inspection conducted by Van Andel Arena security personnel. Only bags and purses smaller than 14"x14"x6" will be permitted. Please leave prohibited items in your vehicle - a list of prohibited items can be found at in the FAQ section.
  • Graduates should leave personal belongings in their vehicle or with family/friends prior to entering the arena. 
  • Cameras and video cameras are permitted. However, guests should plan to take pictures from their seats as access to the main floor is strictly for those involved in the ceremony.

Handicap Access

  • Please be aware that the arena is large and walking a distance may be required.

  • Access to most arena seating requires climbing or descending steps.

  • There are areas in the guest seating for wheelchairs on a first-come, first served basis.

Local Accommodations

Watch Commencement Live Stream

  • If you cannot make it to the ceremony, it will be live-streamed on this page.

Onsite Services 

  • The Davenport University Spirit Store will have DU items for sale for guests to purchase.  Cash or credit cards will be accepted.
  • Commencement Flowers will be selling bouquets of roses ($15-$30).  Cash, check or credit card will be accepted.  Pre-order your flowers here
  • Limited concessions will be available.


graduate information

Press your gown, dress in business attire and wear your tassel on the right. 

  • Graduates should arrive one hour prior to the processional.

  • Graduates must be in line by 1:45 pm EDT. Late arrivals may not be able to participate in the ceremony.

  • Please leave your belongings with family and friends. You will not be able to carry anything with you during the procession.

  • Neither Davenport nor the arena will be responsible for lost or stolen items.

  • Graduates are encouraged to stay for the entire ceremony out of respect to all students.

  • Approved attire including honor cords can be found here.