Central College is helping recognize “Division III Week.”

To commemorate the week, for the third straight year Central’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) is sponsoring a toiletry drive for the Young Women’s Resource Center in Des Moines. Donated items will be accepted at the check-in desk of the Schipper Fitness Center throughout the week. Donations will also be collected at Central’s home baseball games and men’s tennis meet today and at Central’s home softball games Saturday. Items needed include shampoo, conditioner, razors, tampons, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Central’s Division III ties are vast.

Retired Central president Kenneth J. Weller authored the first Division III philosophy statement, which advocated that the focus of intercollegiate athletics should be on benefits for the participant rather than the spectator, and that student-athletes be treated no differently than students involved in other co-curricular activities.

He was called a “founding father” of Division III by The Intercollegiate Athletic Forum in 1996. Weller was instrumental in the incorporation of women into the NCAA in the early 1980s and Central won the first women’s national championship ever staged by the NCAA, taking the Division III women’s cross country title in 1981.