J.E.B. Stuart Alums Julianne Moore, Bruce Cohen Join Name Change Fight

(Photo: Drew Costley/News-Press)
(Photo: Drew Costley/News-Press)

Oscar Award-winning actress Julianne Moore and Oscar Award-winning producer Bruce Cohen, both alumni of J.E.B. Stuart High School, started a petition on Monday, Aug. 3, calling for the Fairfax County School Board to rename the Falls Church high school after Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice.

Marshall, who lived in the Lake Barcroft community in the Falls Church area of Fairfax County from 1968 until his death in 1993, was also the chief architect of the winning legal strategy in Brown v. Board of Education that led to the eventual end of legal segregation in America’s school system. “Not only was Marshall the first African-American Supreme Court justice and a civil rights leader, he was our neighbor and a member of our community,” the petition reads.

Moore, who went to Stuart from 1975 – 1977, and Cohen, who graduated from Stuart in 1979, have been friends since their early teen years. Their petition, which is separate from the original petition calling for the Fairfax Couny School board to change the names of Stuart, Robert E. Lee High School and W.T. Woodson High Schools started by a group called Alumni for Change, has over 26,000 supporters.

That’s compared to less than 2,000 supporters for both the original petition and another started in opposition to changing the names of the three schools, two which are named after Confederate generals and another named after a Fairfax County superintendent who opposed the immediate integration of public schools.

Originally proposed by People Demanding Action, the push not only to remove Stuart’s name from the school, but to then replace it with Marshall’s name, is now being supported by the Alumni for Change, which is made up of former Stuart students, and Students for Change, which was started by the five rising seniors at the school.

The rising seniors at Stuart initiated the drive to rid Fairfax County Public Schools of names associated with the Confederacy and segregation after learning about the origin of their school’s name in a history class. Until recently, both the Alumni for Change and Students for Change groups only supported the removal of Stuart’s name from the school and did not propose any names to replace his.




  1. I agree with the sentiment (both changing the name and honoring Thurgood Marshall), but seems like it’d be confusing to have two Marshall High Schools in Falls Church.

  2. Sher Windsor

    While fighting to change history let’s also get rid of ALL history regarding confederacy. Starting with Black History month we must do away with it so the children aren’t taught about it anymore. Let’s get rid of all the museums!! Fair is Fair. This is all bull crap. You people make it a racist thing. Hopefully the schools are educated enough to know it’s not about racism or slavery. It’s HISTORY. You can’t change HISTORY.

    • Let’s change the name of any school named after any person because everyone has something that some group somewhere will be offended by. I am sure Marshall had his share of skeletons in his closet. Let’s start by removing the names of Washington and Jefferson and Madison if you want to play this game.

  3. The names Julianne Moore and Bruce Cohen offend me.
    Julianne Moore and Bruce Cohen are now jumping on the Politically
    Correctness Bandwagon to change the name of the school, both attending J.E.B.
    Stuart High School in 1970’s. Where have they been the last 35+ Years???? Did they just remember the Name of the High School? , begs the question was Julianne really acting in her recent movie “Still Alice”.

    Let’s not forget all these two highly successful J.E.B. Stuart alumni have none for their
    alma mater since. Especially the drama club, Is this the complete list?.

    1)Act offended by the name of the High School I attended 35+
    years ago.

    I can tell you with near certainty that if Julianne was offered the part of Daisy Duke in
    the Duke of Hazards TV show in 1979 you would have seen her sitting on a Bright
    orange Dodge Charger.

    Both Racism and Faux Righteousness offend me.

    My Name Is Jeb Stuart, I live with the name every day.
    And to the Students and fellow citizens of Fairfax County the name of
    the school is not going to impact your lives. What will -is being true to yourself,
    learning something new every day, being proud of your heritage, working hard, Helping others, being honest, and questioning the motives of the self-righteous politically crowd.

    • Rob Southerlan

      I grew up on Fairfax County back in the 1950’s and graduated from Lee in Springfield in 1960. We didn’t have a large racially mixed community…we played baseball, football and sometimes basketball at Beacon Hill field accross from Groveton Elementary school off Rte 1 with some of the black kids from Gum Springs and Alexandria. Don’t recall anybody saying that RE Lee ,JEB Stuart, and WT Woodson was racially motivated. Now,that word, ” racial or racist” was never spoken nor heard of back in “50’s or “60’s. That’s the facts, put your political correctness butts to working on every day problems..I.E.. education health jobs and recycling your trash…instead of following followers of nothing and those who always uses the letter “I” did, was or knew instead of “WE”.

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