Friends and Family Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do my guests need tickets?
A: No, because the event is being held at the Van Andel Arena this year, tickets are not required. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and seating is open.

Q: What if my guests require special accommodations?
A: Guests who need mobility assistance should enter the Arena at the main entrance on Fulton Street. Arena staff will direct guests upon entering the facility. 

Note: Due to the high number of special needs guests attending the commencement ceremony it is not always possible to have entire families seated together. Access to most of the arena seating requires climbing or descending steps.

Q: Will the concessions be open in the Van Andel Arena that evening?
A: Yes (however, alcohol will not be served)

Q: Where do graduates meet guests after the ceremonies?
A: We recommend you prearrange a meeting spot outside of the Arena. Thousands of people will exit at the same time and it is difficult for graduates to locate family and guests. If you are planning to meet at a restaurant, reservations are recommended.

Q: May family members take photographs?
A: Photos may be taken from seats. No one from the audience is permitted to be on the commencement floor. During the ceremonies Call Photography will take two pictures of each graduate as they receive their diploma.  Graduates will receive an email a few days after the ceremony with the option to purchase those photos.

Call Student Affairs at (616) 234-3925 or email