Elon University President Leo M. Lambert presented the school’s inaugural medal for entrepreneurial leadership to Jim Goodnight on Thursday.

Goodnight is co-founder and CEO of SAS, the world’s largest privately held software company, which is based in Cary.

“Dr. Goodnight nurtured an idea from a spark to a reality. His leadership has resulted in the recognition of SAS as one of the world’s most respected companies,” Lambert said.

After the presentation, Goodnight addressed Elon faculty and students about the values underlying the success of SAS and took questions from the audience.