A-Z Index

Guest Information

What can I bring into Bearcat Stadium?

Here is a list of prohibited items in Bearcat Stadium: 

  • Firearms, weapons of any type or fireworks
  • Coolers – any size, any type
  • Plastic, metal or glass cups, cans or containers
  • Thermos bottles or flasks
  • Outside Food or Drinks (each fan may bring 1 unopened plastic bottle of water)
  • Beer or Liquor
  • Video cameras or professional cameras/lenses
  • Flammable liquids
  • Noisemaker – air horns, klaxon, bells, whistles, etc.
  • Boom boxes
  • Portable heaters
  • Laser pointers of any type, poles or rods
  • Large strollers
  • Backpacks
  • Umbrellas
  • Any other items deemed dangerous or unacceptable by security

The following items are permitted in Bearcat Stadium:

  • Fanny packs (unattached from your body)
  • Purses/Bags etc
  • Drawstring bag unattached from the body
  • One unopened plastic bottle of water per guest
  • Blankets (not in a carrier)
  • Banners and signs (no larger than 3' x5') are permitted as long as they do not interfere with other guests
  • If infant is with guest, small diaper bags with appropriate infant/child contents and supplies (e.g. breast pump)
  • Binoculars and case
  • Small still camera and case
  • Hand-held radios and TVs are permitted if they do not interfere with other guests – an ear piece must be used to listen
  • Seat cushion – lightweight foam with sealed plastic cover

In case of inclement weather

Please familiarize yourself with all weather emergency procedures. Note that umbrellas will not be allowed in Bearcat Stadium.

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 through the west side entrance to the stadium. Ramps are also accessible to the bleachers on the east side of the stadium.


There are designated areas in the stadium for disabled seating. Ushers at the entrance will be happy to 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, 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 90 minutes prior to the ceremony time. Once the gates open, you may seat yourself in any available seat in the stadium.

How long does the ceremony last?

The Commencement ceremony will last 2 hours. 

Where do the graduates sit?

Graduates will be seated on the field. 

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!