Information for Parents

Information for Parents

This is always a wonderful time for the Buena Vista University campus community as our seniors look ahead with great anticipation to completing their studies and graduating to a new phase of their lives filled with exciting opportunities for successful careers and personal growth. We are proud of the accomplishments of your soon-to-be graduate, as we are sure you are.

In preparation for the May 26, 2018 Commencement ceremonies at our Storm Lake campus, we are providing the information below as an overview of the schedule and services throughout the weekend.

Schedule of Events: Saturday, May 26, 2018

  • Baccalaureate—Schaller Memorial Chapel, 10:30 a.m. All graduates are invited to sit with their family and friends at the service. Academic apparel will not be worn at this service.
  • Commencement Brunch Buffet —Dows Grand Ballroom, Harold Walter Siebens Forum - Details coming soon!
  • Commencement Ceremony—Siebens Fieldhouse, 2:30 p.m. Graduates should be at the location of assembly for the Commencement procession by 1:30 p.m. The Commencement procession will begin to move through the Victory Arch at 2:15 p.m. and enter the Siebens Fieldhouse at 2:30 p.m.
  • Post-Commencement Reception—immediately following the Commencement ceremony on the east lawn of the Siebens Fieldhouse, the reception is sponsored by the National Alumni Association. All guests, faculty and staff are invited to relax and celebrate with the graduates and their families. In case of inclement weather, the reception will be held in the Lamberti Recreation Center.

Tickets for Commencement ceremony

  • Tickets of admission will be required for the 2:30 p.m. Commencement ceremony. Each graduate will be entitled to six free tickets for seating in the Siebens Fieldhouse. Additional guests may view simulcast proceedings in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum.
  • Graduates on campus may pick up their tickets in Anderson Auditorium when they pick up their cap & gown. On the day of event, any tickets remaining will be distributed at 1 p.m. in Siebens Fieldhouse.
  • The Siebens Fieldhouse doors will open at 1 p.m. on Saturday for those who have tickets for the Commencement ceremony. There is no reserved seating in Siebens Fieldhouse. The graduation procession will be broadcast to Siebens Fieldhouse for those who wish to view it from their seat in the Fieldhouse.
  • Family and friends of graduates who are unable to attend the Commencement ceremony at BVU may wish to view the event live on the BVU web site ( by clicking on the 2018 Commencement link beginning at approximately 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Other Commencement information is also available on the website.

Seating and Special Accommodations

  • Guests who aren't able to access the bleacher seating in the Siebens Fieldhouse can request seating on the floor when they arrive at the Fieldhouse. One additional person will be allowed to accompany the person who requests seating in this area.
  • To better accommodate guests who come to campus for Commencement day events, the parking lot north of the Siebens Fieldhouse (parking lot B on the campus map) will be reserved for additional handicap and special needs parking that day. Use Early Street to access this parking lot. This reserved area will accommodate up to 60 vehicles and is centrally located to the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum and to the Siebens Fieldhouse. Shuttle service will be available in this area for guests who need assistance to get to the various locations on campus. Handicap parking is also available at other locations on campus, with limited shuttle service.
  • The Commencement ceremonies will be broadcast to Rooms 1 and 2 in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum. These comfortable and air-conditioned locations are convenient areas to view the Commencement ceremonies for those with health concerns, the elderly, and guests who do not have tickets to the Siebens Fieldhouse. See a map of the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum on the Commencement website.

Ceremony recordings/photographs/flower sales

  • Color photographs of graduates receiving their diploma covers will be taken by a professional photographer and can be purchased at reasonable prices, allowing family members to enjoy the graduation without leaving their seats to take a picture.
  • We would appreciate your cooperation in taking your personal photos before and after, but not during, the ceremony.
  • If you choose to take photos or video of your student processing through the Arch, you will NOT be allowed to return to your seats in the Fieldhouse until all faculty/staff and students have processed to their seats.

    Lifetouch Special Events Photography is pleased to provide this complimentary service for each graduate who crosses the dais during the commencement ceremony.

    Go to the site for information about commencement photographs.  Any questions can be addressed to,800-505-9496 Monday – Friday 8:00am – 6:00pm EST, or via the Web site

    There is no obligation to purchase.

    If a valid e-mail address is available to the photographer, a link to commencement photograph proofs will also be sent to participating graduates via e-mail.

    Please do not contact the school with inquiries related to photographic services.

  • Diploma frames and other graduation products can be purchased at the Herff Jones website:
  • Video recordings of the Commencement ceremony and Baccalaureate service will be available for purchase from the University. See the Commencement home page for details!
  • The Commencement Group will offer flowers for sale prior to the Commencement ceremony in front of the Siebens Fieldhouse starting at approximately 1 p.m. In the event of rain, flowers will be available in the lobby of Siebens Fieldhouse.

Event Services

Please contact Lori Ohlson-Townsend via email, or by phone 712-749-2541, to schedule your commencement party or event.

As always, Commencement promises to be an exciting time on Buena Vista University's campus. It serves to commemorate the important achievements of our graduate's goals. We look forward to celebrating this special occasion with you!