A-Z Index

Guest Information

What can I bring into Bearcat Stadium?

The following items are prohibited 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 individual entering the stadium may bring one unopened plastic bottle of water)
  • Beer or liquor
  • Professional cameras and lenses
  • Flammable liquids
  • Noisemakers, including air horns, klaxon, bells and whistles
  • Boomboxes
  • 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 bags unattached from the body
  • Blankets (not in a carrier)
  • Banners and signs (no larger than 3' x 5') are permitted as long as they do not interfere with other guests
  • For infants with guests, small diaper bags with appropriate infant/child contents and supplies (e.g. breast pump)
  • Binoculars and cases
  • Small, still cameras and cases
  • Hand-held radios and TVs are permitted if they do not interfere with other guests; an ear piece must be used to listen
  • Seat cushions (lightweight foam with a sealed plastic cover)

In case of inclement weather

The ceremony will happen rain or shine, so dress for the weather. In case of lightning or severe weather, the ceremony will be delayed, but it will happen that day. Please familiarize yourself with all weather emergency procedures. Note that umbrellas are not allowed in Bearcat Stadium.

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. Contact GradImages at 800.424.3686 directly with any questions. You will communicate directly with the studio regarding this service. 

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


Bearcat Stadium 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 gates open, you may seat yourself in any available seat in the stadium.

How long does the ceremony last?

The commencement ceremony is approximately two hours. 

Where do the graduates sit?

Graduates will be seated on the field. 

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 show my Bearcat pride?

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