NoZe Brotherhood

The NoZe Brotherhood

The NoZe Brotherhood is a collegiate secret society at Baylor University. Founded in Brooks Hall in 1924, the society was originally formed as a joke regarding Leonard Shoaf, a freshman with a large nose. Shoaf's nose was of "such great length and breadth of nostril that his friends proclaimed they could "form a club around it".

The society became a popular, irreverent campus fixture in the years that followed, poking fun at its rivals, the Baylor University Chamber of Commerce, appearing in Baylor's yearbook, the Round-Up, and writing the occasional humorous piece for the yearbook or Baylor's newspaper, The Lariat. The targets of the NoZe Brothers' mirth included Baylor's faculty, administration, the Southern Baptist Convention, various student organizations, and themselves. From the society's inception in the 1920s through to the early 1960s, members were open about their participation, but they now keep their identities secret.


The society has always venerated its history and traditions through the observance of several key festivals and holidays. The oldest, the Pink Tea, has been held annually since 1929. Held in the spring, the event affords members the opportunity to hear the "State of the Onion" address by the Lorde Mayor, celebrate the history of the society, and hear one or more addresses by guest speakers (usually Baylor faculty) and neophyte members.

The Millard Fillmore Ball is held every fall to commemorate the first president to have indoor plumbing in the White House; during his administration all chamber pots were discarded from the White House. "Chamber pot" is the Brotherhood's playful nickname for the Baylor University Chamber of Commerce, and this event celebrates this rivalry.

In 1954, the society began publishing its own satirical newspaper, The Rope (spoofing the campus newspaper The Lariat), taking aim at Baylor University and the Baptist Church, employing satire and absurdity, and developing a unique writing style known as "NoZe prose".


In the mid-1960s, the society's relationship with Baylor's administration became more precarious, due primarily to acts of vandalism: the repeated painting of a campus bridge in the traditional NoZe color of pink, followed by an arson attack on the bridge, the details of which are disputed.

The society went underground, disguising members' identities with rubber noses and wigs. For some unknown reason, the Brothers changed the spelling from "nose" to "NoZe" and adopted a guerrilla profile, crashing various campus events such as "Sing", Chapel, and Homecoming parades. The Rope continues to write about Baylor University and Baptist politics using satire and absurdity. However, over the last forty years the society has alternated between being officially allowed on campus and being banned. Currently the society is in the good graces of the Baylor Administration.


Key figures in the NoZe Brotherhood include the Lorde Mayor, bearer of the Enlightening Rod of Elmo, the Cunning Linguist, who edits the Rope, and the Shekel Keeper, who tries to keep graft to a minimum so that there will be funds available after publication costs to pay for parties. The Bored of Graft consists of past Lordes Mayor, who are available to give advice to the current Lorde Mayor.

The society is liberal in handing out awards, titles, and various sobriquets; in fact, if a NoZeman feels that his fellow members have not seen fit to bestow sufficient honors upon him, he is encouraged to come up with his own. NoZe honors typically begin with the prefix "Keko Keeper of...", the meaning of which is apparently lost to history.

In NoZe lore, there are four types of people in the world. Members are NoZe Brothers; non-members are "Infidels". "Fortunates" are infidels who have had sex with a NoZe Brother. "Exiles" are NoZe Brothers who have graduated or otherwise left the University.

The NoZe Brothers delight in praising the memory of Brother Long NoZe in prose and song with ditties such as "This Old God", "When the NoZe is Blown up Yonder", and "Rock Around the Cross". The traditional NoZe saga "The Cry of the Enormous Rabbit" is usually recited semiannually.

The society is based in Elm Mott, Texas. It is forbidden for a NoZe Brother to reveal his identity to a non-member. Every semester, the Brotherhood holds UnRush, an opportunity for non-members to present themselves for consideration by the society. The NoZe will announce the time and place of UnRush in the first Rope of the semester, and invite candidates to submit a humorous, satirical, or absurdist paper of 10,365 words or less. During UnRush, the Lorde Mayor will prophesy to and harangue the attendant masses on some matter of topical interest.

Ornery brothers

An ornery brother is an honorary member of the society. Some include:

  • Bob Bullock — Former Lt. Governor of Texas
  • George W. Bush — 43rd President of the United States
  • Bennet Cerf — "Bro. Board NoZe"; Noted Humorist
  • Bill Cosby — "Bro. J-E-L-L-NoZe"; comedian
  • John Dean — "Bro. Dean of Dirty Tricks"; White House council to Richard Nixon
  • Kinky Friedman — "Bro. The Yellow NoZe of Texas"; Texas Gubernatorial Candidate/ Humorist
  • Hayden Fry — "Bro. Crotch Grabber"; college football coach
  • John Glenn — "Bro. GemiNoZe"; first American to orbit the Earth, former senator
  • Billy Graham — "Bro. Cracker NoZe Graham"; evangelist
  • Bob Hope — "Bro. SkiNoZe Hope"; comedian
  • Leon Jaworski — "Bro. Water NoZe Jaworski"; Special Prosecutor during the Watergate Scandal
  • John M. Lilley — "Bro. Easter NoZe"; 13th President of Baylor
  • Dan Rather — "Bro. CBS Evening NoZe"; Former CBS news anchor
  • Robert Sloan — "Bro. Liniment NoZe"; 12th President of Baylor
  • William Underwood — "Bro. Pro BoNoZe"; President of Mercer University

Pranks and disruptions



  • Long, William B. (1997). The Nose Brotherhood Knows: A Collection of Nothings and Non-Happenings, 1926–1965. Belton, Texas: Bear Hollow. 0-9617517-5-4

External links

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