A-Z Index

Guest Information

Access to Bearcat Arena

The lower level entrance to Lamkin Activity Center includes an elevator that transports guests to the first floor, within a short walk to the arena.

Outdoor steps facing the east and west also lead the to main entrance and lobby of Lamkin Activity Center. Once inside, guests walk to the right or the left of the lobby through doors into Bearcat Arena.

Doors open 90 minutes prior to each ceremony time.

Photos and Videos

Photos of the ceremony

Graduates will have two photos taken by professional photographers with 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. You can visit  to view and purchase custom photo products like prints, plaques, specialty gifts, and more! If you have questions about your photo or you have not been contacted, get a hold of the Customer Service Department at (800) 261-2576, online at, or email  

grad photo

Guest photo area

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

Live Stream

To accommodate guests who cannot attend the ceremony, Northwest offers a live online stream at Archived videos of ceremonies are uploaded to Northwest's YouTube channel at a later date.

Disabled Resources


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


Elderly, mobility impaired and disabled guests may be brought to 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, 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 through the doors closest to the circle drive.


Bearcat Arena provides designated areas for disabled seating. Ushers at the entrance will help you find those areas.


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, 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 open 90 minutes prior to the ceremony time. Once doors open, you may seat yourself in any available seat in the arena except for the rows reserved for graduates (closest to the stage).

How long does the ceremony last?

The commencement ceremony is approximately 90 minutes. 

Where do the graduates sit?

Graduates will be seated on the arena floor. 

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

How do I get a program?

Printed programs will be available at the ceremony for guests to take. We also have a digital program to view or download.

View digital program

How do I show my Bearcat pride?

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