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Bank and Software Giant Build Technology Bridge Along the Border.

Business Editors

LAREDO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 20, 2000

International Bancshares Corporation (&uot;IBC&uot;) (Nasdaq:IBOC) and the Microsoft Corporation are helping bring learning opportunities to a local school district that otherwise would have been unavailable.

The companies announced an agreement today to help the United Independent School District span its technology gap and fully utilize a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The district was one of only 14 applicants in a pool of more than 400 that received a Technology Innovation Challenge Grant from the Department of Education in 1999.

The money will fund the district's Project Millennium, which will bring new computer hardware, software and training to students and teachers as well as the city of Laredo. IBC and Microsoft are providing instruction and oversight for the implementation of the Project's initiatives. Among them is an expansion of the curriculum at the district's United High School. A &uot;virtual finance&uot; classroom has been created, which will include an actual stock ticker. Students will be able to track the performances of various stocks and make virtual investments, instead of using real money.

&uot;IBC's involvement is allowing us to replicate successful programs from the the outside world by helping us understand the potential of our new resources from a business perspective,&uot; said Dr. Dolores Medrano, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction of the United Independent School District.

The &uot;virtual finance&uot; class is patterned after similar course offerings at the School of Business of the University of Texas at Austin, which also has agreed to lend advisory support to Project Millennium.

IBC is being credited with bringing together all the entities involved and forging their collaboration.

&uot;If we had not had their support, we might have given up on the endeavor,&uot; Medrano said.

IBC will continue to support the Project by sponsoring a mentoring effort that brings University of Texas business majors to Laredo and sends Laredo high school students to the University of Texas at Austin School of Business for educational camps. Yearly bank internships for students also are expected to be part of IBC's involvement with the school district.

International Bancshares Corporation (Nasdaq:IBOC) is a $5.3 billion multi-bank holding company headquartered in Laredo, Texas. It has more than 90 facilities and 192 ATMs in 28 communities, including Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, McAllen, Brownsville and several other locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley and the Texas Gulf Coast.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 20, 2000
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