Back to Home
Tips for Graduates and Guests

Graduate and Guest Tips

Graduate Information

  • Graduates should arrive one hour prior to the processional.
  • Graduates must be in line by 1:45pm 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.
  • Cell phone use is prohibited on the arena floor.
  • Graduates are encouraged to stay for the entire ceremony out of respect to all students.

Guest Information

  • Tickets are not required.
  • The Van Andel Arena is a public venue and is completely barrier free.
  • Please be aware that the arena is large and walking a distance may be required.  Please plan accordingly as wheelchairs are not provided by the arena or Davenport University for guest use.
  • 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. Please note:  Due to the high number of special-needs guests attending the ceremony, it is not always possible to have entire families seated together.
  • Cameras and video cameras are permitted.  However, guest should plan to take pictures from their seats as access to the main floor is strictly for those involved in the ceremony.  See “Photographer” for information regarding services provided.
  • Guests are encouraged to stay for the entire ceremony.

Arriving Downtown

  • Van Andel Arena is located at 130 W. Fulton in downtown Grand Rapids.  The main entrance faces Fulton Street.
  • Doors open at 12:30 p.m. EDT – Graduates and their guest will not be allowed access to the arena prior to 12:30 p.m. EDT.
  • Graduates and their guests should enter through the main entrance on Fulton Street.
  • All guests and graduates entering the arena are subject to metal detector screening, visual inspection, and bag inspection conducted by Van Andel Arena security personnel.  Only bags and purses smaller than 14"x14"x6" will 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. 
  • Guests who need mobility assistance should enter the arena through the southwest corner entrance located on Ottawa.
  • Please note: Allow extra time for parking and walking.

Onsite Services

  • The Davenport University Spirit Store will have DU items for sale for graduates and their 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.