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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Nov. 26, 2017

Software manager, Northwest alumnus to address graduates

Bilal Clarance, a Northwest Missouri State University alumnus and software engineering manager, will address the University’s graduates and their families during its winter commencement ceremonies Friday, Dec. 15.

“What a pleasure it will be to have Bilal and his family back at Northwest to address our winter graduates,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “Bilal has an excellent story – having been an international transfer student, one of our first interactive digital media majors and a student-athlete. Further, his entrepreneurial spirit, along with cutting edge technology focus, will enable Bilal to connect well with our graduates.”

Clarance began employment at a Silicon Valley-based tech giant in 2012 and works at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. He started his role as a software engineering manager in 2015 and manages, coaches and mentors a group of engineers for the company's online store. Before that, as a software engineer, he designed and developed services, tools and platforms for the online store.

Before joining his current employer, he was co-founder and chief technology officer of, a software engineer at Findology Interactive Media Inc. and at Verifi, a developer at GetFugu and at Clarance Creations, and a desktop app builder for Skinkers.

A native of Copenhagen, Denmark, Clarance transferred to Northwest in 2003 from Miles Community College in Miles City, Montana, and graduated from the University in 2005 with his bachelor’s degree in interactive digital media with an emphasis in computer science. As a Northwest student, he worked in the campus’ Intercultural and International Center. He also was a member of the Bearcat men’s basketball team from 2003 to 2005, including the 2003-04 team that advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight and was inducted into Northwest’s M-Club Hall of Fame in 2014.

Clarance continued his basketball career after graduating from Northwest and played for clubs throughout Europe between 2005 and 2009. He also played for the Danish men’s national team, starting at the age of 18, and was its captain from 2007 to 2009.

Northwest will host commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. Dec. 15 for bachelor’s degree candidates representing the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Agricultural Sciences, Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business and Professional Studies, and the School of Education, and at 2 p.m. for all master’s degree candidates as well as bachelor’s degree candidates representing the School of Computer Science and Information Systems and the School of Communication and Mass Media. Both ceremonies are in Bearcat Arena.

Doors will open to guests one hour prior to each ceremony. Shuttle services will be provided from parking lots 59 and 60 to the Lamkin Activity Center circle drive.

Nearly 200 students are expected to receive master’s or specialist degrees through the University’s graduate school. More than 300 undergraduate students from Northwest’s College of Arts and Sciences and six professional schools are expected to receive bachelor’s degrees.

No tickets are necessary to attend either ceremony. To accommodate guests who cannot attend, Northwest will offer a live online stream of the ceremonies at   

Graduates along with their families and friends also are invited to interact with Northwest’s social media before, during and after the commencement ceremonies. Users may share their graduation memories on Twitter by using the hashtag #NWGrad, or submit graduation photos to Northwest’s Flickr feed. Photos can be taken with a mobile phone and sent to Submitted photos will appear immediately on Northwest’s Flickr page at

Candidates for graduation may pick up caps and gowns on the first floor of the Administration Building from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, through Thursday, Dec. 14, or one hour before each ceremony in the Student Recreation Center.

Complete details about commencement at Northwest are posted at

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468