Wings to London

Robert Hardy Barnes and his wife, June Yeakel Barnes

In the Barnes Family, international travel was considered more of a necessity than a luxury—an important part of becoming an open–minded, intellectually curious adult. Robert Hardy Barnes and his wife,June Yeakel Barnes, encouraged their three daughters, Julie, Debbie, and Tucker, to experience the joys and challenges of travel from an early age. A huge world map hung over the kitchen table, where each daughter placed her own colored pegs wherever she dreamed of going.

Julie Morrison, the oldest, quickly developed what her parents called, “itchy feet,” an itch to see as much of the world as possible. She not only traveled with her family, but on her own. At the age of fifteen, she participated in the People to People program, one of the youngest participants at that time. Since then, travel has continued to be an important part of her life. Even her job as a flight attendant for a major airline was closely related to her love of travel, particularly toward the end of her career when she worked on international flights between Seattle and Tokyo.

In addition to her parents' love of travel, Julie speaks fondly of their deep appreciation for writing and literature. June Yeakel was a UW English and Drama major when the couple met in 1948. Dr. Robert Hardy Barnes was an internist who taught at the UW School of Medicine. After he retired, he wrote his autobiography, The Good Doctor is Naked: Finding the Human Beneath My Mask, where he became interested in the craft of writing first-hand, and later the writing of UW students. Now, thanks to their love of literature, writing, and travel, and their generous donation to the department, UW English majors can apply for the Wings to London Scholarship to help them get their own tchy feet off the ground.

Declared English majors participating in the department's long-running Spring in London program are eligible to apply. Awards are based on financial need, and in honor of Julie Morrison's long career as a flight attendant, students are encouraged to apply the funds toward airfare, one of few expenses not covered by the program fee.

Jennifer Schaible was a recipient of the award for the Spring 2013 program:

Study in London in Spring of 2013 was one of the best experiences of my life. Along with being in such a beautiful city, I had the wonderful chance to immerse myself in a culture that, although in some aspects similar to what we have here, is also so incredibly different than what I'd grown up with or gone to school in. I had the chance to prove to myself that I could go literally thousands of miles away from my family and not only succeed, but excel, at experiencing a different way of living, thinking, being. Studying in London helped me to realize that the dreams I have are worth fighting for, and are absolutely within reach.

BRIDGET NORQUIST

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