Natalie Jacobson, anchor and reporter for WCVB-TV’s award-winning NewsCenter 5, will receive the Centennial Lifetime Achievement Award from the Suffolk University Communication and Journalism Department on Sunday, March 25.

The 2007 “Alumnus of the Year” award will be presented to Shawn Middleton, director of Public Affairs at Vinfen Corporation in Cambridge, a non-profit organization that provides services to people challenged with mental illness, mental retardation, and behavioral health disabilities.

Pioneer in Boston TV news

Jacobson joined WCVB in 1972 as a reporter and became the anchor for its Midday newscast that same year. She became the first woman to anchor an evening newscast in Boston in 1976.

Jacobson will be joining a very select company; the only previous recipient of the Communication and Journalism Department’s Lifetime Achievement Award is Helen Thomas, the legendary Hearst White House reporter and columnist.

Alumnus honored

Middleton earned a BSJ in 1990 and an MA in 2001. Before joining Vinfen, he was the director of Community and Public Affairs at Beverly Hospital. He also worked in public affairs at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and at Lahey Clinic.

The 10th annual alumni awards banquet is part of Suffolk University’s Centennial Partnership Series.