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Graduation and Commencement

Congratulations, #DUGrad19!

We are excited to recognize your successful academic journey. Join us as we celebrate your graduation. So, press your gown, dress in business attire and wear your tassel on the right.

Ceremony Information


Sunday, April 28, 2019
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 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

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. 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.

Local Accommodations

Watch Graduation Livestream

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

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.



graduate information

  • 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.

  • Cell phone use is prohibited on the arena floor.

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