Seating

Van Noord Arena seating

To accommodate family members and guests of our graduates, each graduate may receive up to four tickets for the arena. Enter on the main level for upper bowl seating. Take the main lobby staircase down to the lower level entrances for main floor seating.

Commencement Processional and Graduate Seating - available May

Overflow seating

Graduates may also receive two tickets for overflow seating in the Covenant Fine Arts Center. This is the preferred venue for those who cannot use bleacher seating. If additional tickets for overflow seating are needed, students may note that on their ticket order form and these will be accommodated as space permits.

Accessible seating

The Van Noord Arena has wheelchair-accessible seating available. However, please note that most of the general admission seating requires climbing stairs which some grandparents find to be too steep, and the overflow venue (Covenant Fine Arts Center) may be more comfortable for guests. Graduates must communicate requests for accessible seating accommodations in advance for any guest requiring wheelchair seating or accessible lower row seating. These requests must be submitted on the graduate's ticket order form.

The accessible seating sections are reserved for the person needing the assistance and one guest. Additional family members must sit in general admission seating.

Audio and visual accommodations

Graduates whose guests require sign language, large print, Braille or any other such accommodations for the Commencement ceremony must request these arrangements in advance on their ticket order form or via the box office (events@calvin.edu).

Frequently Asked Questions:

Calvin has a large arena, so why can our family only receive four tickets?

The arena holds about 4,500 seats, and some seats will be inaccessible due to staging. After providing seats for about 900 graduates, all faculty members, program participants, and the 50-year reunion class, we're able to provide four seats per family. Overflow seating is available in the Covenant Fine Arts Center.

Why doesn't Calvin hold Commencement at an off-campus venue where everyone can come?

It is more meaningful to students to celebrate their Commencement in the place where they have studied, worked and lived during their Calvin years. In periodic surveys, students indicate that they would prefer a smaller Calvin venue to a larger off-campus venue. In addition, Calvin is able to provide better hospitality services, there is free/accessible parking, and there's a significant cost savings by hosting the event on campus.

What can my student do to get more tickets?

Students often network or use Calvin eDeals to find students who don't need all their tickets. Everyone can receive two overflow tickets along with their arena tickets. Students can also note any special requests on the back of the Commencement ticket order form; we will accommodate as many additional overflow seating requests as possible.