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WASHINGTON MUTUAL INTRODUCES AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHECK SERIES

 SEATTLE, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington Mutual (NASDAQ: WAMU), the state's largest locally managed, independently owned bank, announced today it has launched a series of checks depicting important figures in African-American history.
 The series debuts as the nation celebrates Black History Month. Now, customers of Washington Mutual can celebrate diversity year-round with the new African-American Heritage Check Series. Washington Mutual is the first major bank in Washington to offer such checks.
 "We launched the checks to help celebrate diversity and promote understanding among people of all backgrounds," said Robert Flowers, chairman of Washington Mutual's Diversity Advisory Group and senior vice president of commercial real estate.
 "Throughout history, African-Americans have been leaders in business, education and politics," Flowers said. "It is a fitting tribute for Washington Mutual to acknowledge the contributions of these African-American pioneers."
 Each check includes a portrait of an early African-American leader, the individual's field of accomplishment, and birth and death dates.
 The checks feature:
 -- Frederick Douglass, a 19th-century abolitionist who advocated brotherhood among all races;
 -- Booker T. Washington, an African-American educator who founded the Tuskegee Institute, the leading black educational institution around the turn of the century;
 -- George Washington Carver, a botanist and agricultural chemist who was a leader in soil improvement and crop diversification;
 -- Madame C.J. Walker, a millionaire businesswoman best known for developing the hot comb hair straightening process; and
 -- Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican black nationalist who founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and attempted to foster worldwide unity among Africans.
 "The United Negro College Fund will receive a portion of the cost of each check order, as will the descendants of the leaders portrayed on the checks," said Deanna Oppenheimer, Washington Mutual's senior vice president of corporate relations.
 An order of African-American checks costs $14.95 for 200 wallet checks or $16.95 for 150 duplicate checks. Customers can order the checks at any Washington Mutual financial center.
 Serving the financial needs of Northwest consumers, Washington Mutual is the largest independent bank headquartered in Washington, having assets of $9 billion and operating 119 financial centers and 17 home loan centers in Washington and Oregon.
 -0- 2/10/93
 /CONTACT: Roger Nyhus of Washington Mutual, 206-461-6390/
 (WAMU)


CO: Washington Mutual Savings Bank ST: Washington IN: FIN SU: PDT

SW -- SE009 -- 5230 02/10/93 14:19 EST
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Date:Feb 10, 1993
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