Matman founder leaves six-figure pension to Cornell

MOUNT VERNON —Warren DePrenger, the owner and founder of Matman Wrestling, a wrestling uniform and gear manufacturer, has donated proceeds of a pension plan valued at $700,000 to Cornell College.

warren-deprenger.jpgDePrenger, a former teacher and wrestling coach, was a four-time conference champion wrestler at Cornell and is a member of Cornell’s Athletics Hall of Fame. He has continually funded Cornell’s Matman Invitational, a yearly wrestling tournament that regularly attracts Iowa’s best wrestlers. His latest gift is not restricted to athletics and will be used for the highest needs of the college.

“I wanted to help the college,” said DePrenger. “The wrestling, the academics and the size of Cornell all fit me very well.”

DePrenger started Matman Wrestling in his home in Iowa in 1969 by making uniforms on his own four sewing machines. Since then, Matman has grown internationally to equip Olympic teams since 1998, including the U.S. and teams in more than 30 other nations as well. DePrenger and his wife, Jayne, are also the primary sponsors of the International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Newton, Iowa.

“We’re grateful for Warren’s gift and his long-standing support of Cornell and Ram athletics,” said Cornell College President Les Garner. “Our wrestling program would not be where it is today without his support, and this gift will be just as transformative for the rest of the campus.”

Warren DePrenger’s gift is part of Cornell College’s comprehensive campaign Extraordinary Opportunities: The Campaign for Cornell College which will continue through December 2009. The campaign will enhance the Cornell experience by increasing the college’s endowment, upgrading its facilities, and enhancing the academic program.

For more information about the campaign or making a gift, visit