Are graduates allowed to bring guests to commencement?

Each graduate will receive 6 allocated tickets to the 2024 Commencement ceremony in Sturrus and can request additional tickets. This year there will not be an alternate viewing area in 2024 because there are enough tickets for guests in Sturrus.

For those who cannot attend in persoon, a professional livestream video of graduation will be provided. The livestream video will be closed-captioned. It will also be available after the ceremony on the Aquinas College YouTube channel for viewing anytime.


Does a baby or child that can sit on my lap need a ticket?

Yes, a baby or child will need a ticket.


How can those unable to attend the commencement ceremony watch the ceremony?

Links to all livestream videos are available on our Livestreams page. Following the ceremony, a livestream recording will be available on the Aquinas College YouTube channel for viewing anytime.


What is GradFest and what if I miss it?

You can find out more about GradFest here.

If you cannot attend GradFest and still need to pick up your tickets, please get in touch with Student Affairs to arrange ticket pick-up.

To get your regalia, contact the Aquinas Bookstore at aquinas@bkstr.com or 616-632-2962.

To pick up honor cords, stop by the Registrar's Office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, or 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday.  The registrar's office is in Hruby Hall's basement, Suite 30.


Who do I contact if I have questions about commencement activities?

Please email your question to commencement@aquinas.edu.


Health and Safety

What are the health and safety protocols for the commencement ceremony?

The College will follow recommendations from medical, public health, government, and higher education experts, particularly those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of Michigan, and the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).

Michigan Covid 19 guidelines


Graduation Requirements

How do I know if I am approved for graduation?

If you are approved for graduation, you should have received an emailed copy of your completed Application for Degree Candidacy. The student should use the Application for Degree to verify all the remaining graduation requirements. If you submitted your Application for Degree to the Registrar’s Office and have not received an approval email, please get in touch with the Graduation Auditor.


What is my Primary Major/Degree Title, and why is it important?

Your degree title is either Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Your degree title correlates to your primary major. For example, if a student is a History major (primary major), they will earn a Bachelor of Arts (degree title). If a student is double majoring, they must pick their primary major. For example, if a student is double majoring in History (BA) and Psychology (BS), they need to choose if they want the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or the Bachelor of Science (BS) to be their degree title. A student who is double majoring will earn only one degree. They must pick one or the other. The primary degree choice will be printed on the diploma and called at commencement. Both majors will be published on the transcript. For additional questions, please get in touch with the Graduation Auditor.


How do I know if I qualify for Honor Cords or Stoles?

Aquinas College awards honor cords to undergraduate students based on their most recently completed entire semester cumulative GPA.

Several departments and organizations offer additonal honor cords and stoles.

You can learn about all these options here.


What if I need to order a final transcript for graduate school or employment?

A final transcript will be mailed to the student along with their diploma. If you need an official copy of your transcript sent elsewhere, you can go to www.getmytranscript.com. We work with the National Student Clearinghouse to provide transcripts promptly and efficiently. If you need your transcript to reflect your graduation, mark the “Hold for Degree” option when ordering your transcript. If you have questions about transcripts and transcript orders, please get in touch with the Records Specialist or read more here.


When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas are mailed to the home address on the student’s Application for Degree Candidacy. Diplomas will be mailed out 3-6 weeks after final grades are posted. 24/Spring final grades are due by faculty to the Registrar’s Office on May 17th.


What if I want to change how my name is printed on my diploma?

The name printed on your diploma corresponds to what you listed on your Application for Degree Candidacy. Your diploma is a legal document and must reflect your legal name. To change how you would like your name printed on your diploma, contact the Graduation Auditor as soon as possible to avoid misprints. If you have recently changed your name, you must provide legal documentation to the Graduation Auditor (i.e., a copy of your Driver’s License).


What If I need to postpone my graduation?

If you need to be moved to the following graduation period, please get in touch with the Graduation Auditor.


What if I have a financial hold on my account?

Your diploma will only be released if your account has a zero balance.  If you are unsure of your balance, check on Self Service or contact Student Accounts at (616) 632-2864.  Once your balance is paid, Student Accounts will inform the Graduation Auditor and your diploma will be released.


Why does the Registrar’s Office need a copy of my high school transcript?

To maintain our accreditation and follow Federal Compliance standards, Aquinas College must have a final, official copy of all graduate’s high school transcripts.  The transcript was often sent during the Admissions process while you were still enrolled in high school. It was noted on your Application for Degree Candidacy that we do not have a final transcript on file for you.  Your diploma will not be released to you until the transcript is received.


Commencement Day

What do I wear to the Baccalaureate Mass?

When participating in the Baccalaureate Mass, wearing your commencement gown and cord(s) is essential. The hood and cap are to be worn only at the commencement ceremony. 


What do I wear to the Commencement Ceremony?

When participating in the commencement ceremony, wearing the gown, hood, cord/s, stole (if you choose), and cap is necessary. Watch our videos on how to wear your commencement regalia properly.

We ask that graduates not wear spiked/high heels since they are a tripping hazard on the grated ramp to the graduation stage, and they may cause damage to Coach Bo Court.


What time should I arrive for the Baccalaureate Mass? Where do I go?

Graduates should arrive at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew at 9:30 a.m. Parking is available in the Cathedral parking lot or the Catholic Information Center parking lot.

Graduates will line up outside (rain or shine).

Physical programs will also be handed out at the Mass.


What time should I arrive for my commencement ceremony? Where do I check in?

Graduates will check in at Alksnis. The west entrance of Alksnis, accessed through the Mayfield Lot (Lot #4), will open for check-in at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 11th. Graduates must arrive by 1:30 p.m.


Where and when do graduates line up for the commencement ceremony?

At check-in inside Alksnis, graduates will receive a card with their name printed. Please don't LOSE OR WRITE ON THIS CARD. Please keep this card with you whenever you get a chance, as it will be required to have your name read as you cross the stage. Graduates will be lined up alphabetically by the degree of Associate, Bachelor, and Master on the Alksnis track. They will be led in procession outside of Alksnis through the Mayfield lot and around Sturrus’ front entry, where they will continue to process into Coach Bo's gymnasium.


Will there be a commencement procession?

Graduates will process from the west side of Alksnis through the Mayfield Lot and around into Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center. There will be a cordon of faculty, board of trustees, and cabinet members for the students to process through at the front entry to Sturrus. At this time, the procession will not be livestreamed.


What if it rains?

The College will monitor the weather before commencing activities. In the event of inclement weather, any changes to commencement activities will be communicated to graduates.


Where do I park for my commencement ceremony?

Please take a look at the page on Commencement Parking.


Will programs be available at the commencement ceremony?

Printed and digital programs will be available for graduates and guests at the ceremony. 


Will graduates receive diplomas at the commencement ceremony?

Graduates will not receive their diplomas at the commencement ceremony. Diplomas are mailed to the graduate’s home address 3-6 weeks after final grades are due.


Will graduates walk across the stage?

Yes, graduates will be walking across a stage.


What do you think about commencement photography?

Full details about registering for professional photography are on the Commencement Photography page.


Will there be an alternate viewing location on campus?

Yes, there will be several alternate viewing locations. While at GradFest, each graduate can request up to four alternate seating tickets. A ticket is required to enter our alternate viewing locations.


Will there be a video recording available after commencement?

A recording of the commencement ceremony live stream will be available on the Aquinas College YouTube channel following the event for viewing at any time.