The William F. Geddes Memorial Award was created in 1961 to honor the zeal and unselfish industry of an individual member and to emphasize the importance of his or her contributions to the work of the society. The individual after whom the award is named served the association long and unselfishly as president (1938–1939), vice-president (1937–1938), editor-in-chief (1943–1961), active member, and committee member. Over the long span of his own association with AACCI, Geddes influenced the organization in many ways, contributing to its work and progress, increasing its usefulness to its members, and boosting its reputation in the fields of fundamental and applied cereal science. The name of the recipient is kept secret until the moment of the presentation at the annual meeting.
The award, consisting of an engraved plaque, was given posthumously to Geddes in 1961, and subsequently to: Clinton L. Brooke, D. B. Pratt, Jr., Kenton L. Harris, James M. Doty, Frank R. Schwain, John A. Johnson, Paul E. Ramstad, Edith A. Christensen, Welker G. Bechtel, Daniel G. McPherson, Francis E. Horan, George W. Schiller, Ralph H. Durr, Byron S. Miller, Raymond J. Tarleton, Kenneth A. Gilles, Wilbur C. Schaefer, G. Norman Irvine, John H. Nelson, Norman L. Betz, Lawrence F. Marnett, Y. Pomeranz, George K. Minor, Maura M. Bean, Donald K. Dubois, William C. Mailhot, James W. Doty, Okkyung K. Chung, Warren M. Schwecke, Seiichi Nagao, Keith Tipples, Darrel G. Medcalf, Charles A. Becker, R. Carl Hoseney, Jerold Bietz, Elwood Caldwell, Walter Bushuk, David Lineback, William Atwell, Vladimir Rasper, Antoinette Betschart, Eugene Wisakowsky, Frederick Hegele, Julie Miller Jones, Robert Cracknell, Elizabeth Knight, David Hahn, Jan Delcour, Peter J. Wood, Barbara B. Heidolph, James Dexter, Maureen Olewnik, Steven C. Nelson, Laura Hansen, and Debi Rogers.