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This paper provides an overview of a program to enhance the teaching, research and outreach missions of the College of Engineering at Mississippi State University, USA. In 1997, the Robert M. Hearin Foundation of Jackson, MS awarded the College of Engineering $4.6 million over a period of four years to strengthen existing programs and for new initiatives. The new initiatives are consistent with recent studies on the future directions of engineering education by such organizations as NSF, NRC, ASEE and ABET. The distinguishing characteristic of the MSU program compared to the NSF Engineering Education Coalitions is its broad-based nature. Rather than initiatives in selected areas, or in undergraduate studies only, the Hearin grant provides the means by which the college can link undergraduate education to graduate education, research and outreach, including economic development. The paper provides background information on proposal preparation, the interaction with the Hearin Foundation, procedures for implementation and future plans for the project.