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Graduation Proceedings 2021

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Commencement on campus of GRCC- held remotely due to coronavirus. 08-02-2020 © Photos by Steve Jessmore

By Sherry Sokolowski

GRCC plans in-person graduation ceremonies for the class of 2021

This year, Grand Rapids Community College is arranging for four in-person commencement ceremonies to celebrate the class of 2021. The college is taking precautions to ensure that the graduates and their families remain safe during the ceremonies. 

The four graduation ceremonies will be spread out across two days, April 30 and May 1. There will be a limited number of guests allowed at each to adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Students graduating from the School of Arts and Sciences will have two ceremonies at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, April 30 and students graduating from the School of Workforce Development will also have two ceremonies on Saturday, May 1 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. All four ceremonies will be held in the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse. 

Student’s particular dates and times for commencement will be assigned by the college, but GRCC staff will do their best to honor their preferences. 

Additionally, students and their families have the option to participate in the ceremony virtually and all four of the ceremonies will be live streamed. 

As more details become available they will be posted on grcc.edu/commencement

GRADfest 2021 set for March 30 to get grads ready for graduation

GRADfest 2021 is where students can pick up caps and gowns and take care of other matters pertaining to commencement. It is planned as a drive-through event from 3-6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30 in the DeVos Campus parking lot.

Registration is required in order to participate in both GRADfest and the commencement ceremony and both can be completed through one form. The deadline to register for GRADfest is this Friday, March 26. 

To register for both events, students can refer to the email they received about the GRADfest and commencement registration form. If a student did not receive this email, they need to make sure they filled out the graduation application. If they fill out the form by April 2, their name will be included in the program for the ceremony. 

If a student isn’t able to attend GRADfest but they plan on participating in commencement, they can pick up their items at the Student Life Office on the first floor of the Student Center, next to the Bookstore. 

Graduation Requirements: 

There is a difference between commencement and graduation. The commencement is simply a ceremony and a celebration for students who are expected to meet all degree or certificate requirements by the end of the academic year. 

Students will not receive their diplomas at the commencement ceremony. Instead, they will receive a diploma cover. The college will issue diplomas and certificates once all academic requirements have been met and final grades have been posted. The college will mail these to the address listed in your Online Center account. 

In order to participate in the commencement ceremony, students must fill out the brief graduation application. In order to formally graduate, students must meet all of the requirements once all grades have been posted.

The requirements are as follows: 

  • My Degree Path has been reviewed to ensure program completion.
  • Students must possess a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Enough credits must be completed to reach the minimum total required of your academic program (major), MACRAO credential, and/or MTA credential. 
  • All academic program (major), MACRAO credential, and/or MTA credential requirements have been fulfilled. 
  • If applying for an associate degree a minimum of 15 credits have been taken at GRCC and if applying for a certificate, a minimum of 8 credits have been taken at GRCC. 
  • All transfer credit needed for evaluation is posted on your transcript (only if this is applicable).
  • All substitutions/waivers must be sent in by the appropriate department director by the deadline for a student’s graduation semester. 
  • Incomplete grades must be resolved.


The deadline to fill out the application is Friday, April 2 if you would like your name listed in the graduation program. The final deadline for commencement registration is Friday, April 16.  

To fill out the application, go to this link: https://www.grcc.edu/students/student-records/graduation/graduation-application

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