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Northwest Missouri State University

Bearcat Zone (Photo by University Photography)

Northwest History


Family Day

A special time for the families of all Northwest students is Family Day. Faculty and administrators look forward to this opportunity to meet and visit with parents and students on an informal basis. The Family of the Year is selected and honored during the day.

Bobby Bearcat


The name was bestowed upon Northwest in 1916 by the Drury College basketball team in Springfield, who had come to know the Maryville team as formidable opponents. In later years, students did a bit of research and discovered that a Bearcat is hard to capture and harder to hold. The Bearcat serves as the mascot for both men's and women's athletic teams.

Walkout Day

Historically, Walkout Day has been a major event. On the Friday morning before Homecoming, students went to class to await the ceremonial ringing of the Bell of '48, signifying the end of classes for the day. A school-wide picnic and other activities were held, including a mass celebration in downtown Maryville. Today, Northwest continues to observe Walkout Day on the Friday prior to Homecoming; however, students no longer go to classes. An addition to the day in recent years has been raising flags on the International Flag Plaza. International students are selected to raise the flags of their countries in this annual ceremony.

Greek House


Homecoming is a long-standing tradition at Northwest. The Homecoming parade and football game are the main events of the weekend. Other events include variety show performances, alumni gatherings and the house decoration contest, which help provide a memorable weekend for students, parents and alumni.

The Bell of 1948

The Bell of '48 is rung to announce athletic victories, in memory of any member of the University community, and to announce other events deemed important by Student Senate and the administration.

Memorial Bell Tower

The Memorial Bell Tower is located in the center of the campus and was constructed using funds contributed by alumni.

Kissing BridgeTradition of the Bridge

The small rustic wooden bridge on the south side of Colden Hall. It is referred to as "The Kissing Bridge" and suggests that it is a place for student romance to blossom.

Senior Class Colors

A tradition established by the class of 1920 is that the Senior Class each year adopt the University colors, green and white, as its class colors.

Hickory Stick

The tradition of the hickory stick dates back to 1930, when Northwest presented the hickory stick to Northeast Missouri State University with the intent that it would be a traveling sports trophy. Since that time, the winning team has kept the stick.

The Stroller

The Stroller is one of the oldest traditions on campus, having made his/her first appearance in 1918. Still preserved in anonymity, the Stroller continues to thoughtfully observe and comment upon campus and Maryville life in The Northwest Missourian.

School Songs

Listen as the Northwest Marching Band performs the school songs Listen!

Wings of Victory (Fight Song)

Come on Bearcats fight, (you Bearcats fight!)
on to victory.
Hail the Green and White,
best in history.

Come on Bearcats fight, (you Bearcats fight!)
Proud, brave and strong we will stand.
Our glorious colors raised up triumphantly,
across Missouri Land.

The Alma Mater

Let your voices loudly ringing, echo far and near,
Songs of praise thy children singing to thy mem'ry dear.

Alma Mater! Alma Mater! tender, fair, and true;
Grateful sons with love unfailing all their vows renew.

Years may dim our recollection, Time its change may bring,
Still thy name in fond affection, evermore we'll sing.

Alma Mater! Alma Mater! tender, fair, and true;
Grateful sons with love unfailing all their vows renew.