A-Z Index

Guest Information

Access to Bearcat Arena

There is a lower level entrance to Lamkin Activity Center with an elevator that you will take to the 1st floor. There are also steps facing the east and west that lead to four main doors that provide entrance to the lobby of Lamkin Activity Center.

Once inside you may go to the double doors to the right or the left that lead to Bearcat Arena.

Doors will open one hour prior to each ceremony time.

Photos and Videos

Photos of the Ceremony

Graduates will have two photos taken by professional photographers from GradImages; one as the graduate crosses the stage, and a second directly off the stage while holding their diploma cover in front of a Northwest backdrop. Proofs will be emailed or mailed directly to the graduate within one week, and you may order photos at your convenience. Please contact GradImages at 800.424.3686 directly for any questions. You will deal directly with the studio regarding this service. 

grad photo

Guests Photo Area

For the safety of graduates exiting the stage, there is a designated photo area to the right of the stage. Guests may not take photos in aisles.

Live Stream

To accommodate guests who cannot attend, Northwest will offer a live online stream of the ceremonies at Archived videos of the ceremonies will be uploaded to Northwest's YouTube channel.

Disabled Resources


We want to make sure our graduates and guests are safe and comfortable on this very special occasion. If you are needing any accommodations please contact us at


Elderly, mobility impaired, and disabled guests may be dropped off in the circle drive in front of the Lamkin Activity Center.  A lot designated for disabled parking is located across the street from the Lamkin Activity Center, just to the west of the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building. Vehicles must have a state disabled parking permit.


Access to Ceremony

Elevator access is available on the ground level entrance to the Lamkin Activity Center. Bearcat Arena is located on the 1st floor.  


There are three designated areas in the arena for disabled seating that are NOT in the bleacher sections. Ushers at the entrance will be happy to help you find those areas. There are also folding chairs in these areas. Please feel free to have a family member sit with you. You may also remove chairs on the floor level seating behind the graduates for wheelchairs. 


Free parking is available at most areas on campus the day of commencement. A lot designated for disabled parking is located across the street from the Lamkin Activity Center, just to the west of the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building.

View Event Map »


Directions to Campus

View directions to campus


Hotel Accommodations

View lodging options around Maryville


When do the doors open?

Doors will open one hour prior to the ceremony time. Once the doors open to Bearcat Arena, you may seat yourself in any available seat.

How long does the ceremony last?

Commencement ceremonies will last a little over an hour. 

Where do the graduates sit?

Graduates will be seated on the arena floor. 

When it is time for them to go on stage, they will walk onto the left side of the stage and proceed to the right side of the stage. 

How do I show my Bearcat pride?

Show your Bearcat pride by utilizing our commencement social media toolkit!