CARY – Jim Goodnight, co-founder and chief executive officer of SAS, received the “Distinguished Alumi” award for entrepreneurship from Inc. magazine on Saturday.

Inc. picked Goodnight for the Bernard A. Goldhirsh Award. It is named in honor of Goldhirsh, the late founder of the magazine. The award goes to individuals who have made significant contributions as entrepreneurs.

Goodnight founded SAS in 1976. The firm, which is still privately held, has grown into one of the world’s best-known software companies in areas such as business intelligence.

Goldhirsh founded Inc. in 1979. The alumni award, which was launched last year, is to honor leaders of successful Inc. 500 companies. John Tu and David Sun,the founders, Kingston Technology, won the first alumni award.