The Hong Memorial Essay Prize is an award of $100 to the best submitted academic paper. It was establish to honor the memory of the Kierkegaard scholar and translator Professor Howard V. Hong.
Howard Hong died on March 16, 2010. He was 97. We lost his helpmate and collaborator Edna Hong in 2007. It was Howard and Edna Hong who made the complete published works of Kierkegaard accessible to the English-speaking world with their translation of twenty-six volumes of Kierkegaard’s Writings, (Princeton University Press). Their gifts to all of us with a passion for Kierkegaard were multitudinous. In addition to their superb translations, the Hongs donated the thousands of volumes that comprise the core of the Hong Kierkegaard Library. Less obvious, though equally significant, were the countless acts of kindness that the Hongs performed to help support individual researchers and initiatives (like The Reed), and ultimately to build a community of scholars. They accomplished all this while raising a large family and while Howard Hong was teaching a full range of large courses at St. Olaf. It is, of course, said that to those whom much is given, much is expected. The Hongs were always mindful of this. Their lives were an open palm. But there was nothing that pleased these elite scholars more than to see an ardent interest in Kierkegaard and the question of what it means to be a human being taking root in undergraduates. For that reason, this journal gave them special glee. In the spring, they were always eager to receive their copies of The Reed and to glimpse what was on the minds and hearts of young people newly swept up in the Existentialist tradition.