Adele Negro and the Art of Saying Yes
“How do I say yes?” This is the question that ran through the mind of Professor Adele Negro (MATI ’99) as she pondered an unexpected request from Elizabeth Romanoff (MPA ’11): that she do Elizabeth and Jorge Silva (MAIPS ’11) the honor of marrying them.
In her letter to Adele, Elizabeth said: “We both agreed that we wanted someone we knew personally, that we had respect for, that we saw as a mentor, and you were the only person that came to mind.” Brought to tears when she realized what she meant to this couple whom she had grown so fond of, Adele decided she must rise to the occasion: “If you are open to it, life will not let you stand still.”
An interpretation professor at MIIS, Adele takes her responsibilities and personal relationships seriously, and so began a deeply spiritual journey as she first explored her own philosophy regarding love and commitment and then worked with Elizabeth and Jorge to prepare for their wedding and compose their marriage ceremony. “We shared a lot of good meals and wine together,” Adele says, laughing warmly, “and we talked at length about what the marriage meant to them, both individually and as a couple.”
Shortly before Elizabeth sent her request to Adele, the three of them had celebrated the nuptials of another MIIS couple, Ryan Gonzalez (MPA ’10) and Zuzana Samcikova (MBA ’10), which were held in Adele’s home. “When I told Adele that Zuzana and I had planned to have a small civil ceremony in Monterey before our church wedding in Slovakia, she immediately offered her beautiful home—that’s the kind of friend she is.”
In addition to teaching advanced interpretation, Adele serves as program director for Team El Salvador, which has for several years provided MIIS students with the opportunity to spend the month of January honing their development skills and enhancing their language and multicultural competency by participating in community projects in the Bajo Lempa region of El Salvador. She and Ryan, and later Elizabeth, became true friends during their time in El Salvador— “an experience that can foster a deeper level of family connection than traditional professor-student relationships,” says Adele.
On a gorgeous afternoon in June of 2011, Adele Negro “professor, mentor, and dear friend” of the couple—and by then an ordained minister—helped guide Elizabeth Romanoff and Jorge Silva through their transition into marriage. Such is the power of saying yes.
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