not Notre Dame LLC or Notre Dame Inc. Notre Dame borrows in the bond market via the municipal bond market not the corporate bond market. This deal was a taxable muni bond deal because, per ND's Bellis, it was cheaper than tax free issuance and results in more flexibility in terms of compliance and use of proceeds. ND's outstanding bonds are a both tax free munis and taxable munis. I believe the last three issues have been done as taxable.
Moody's is the only rating agency that rates ND. The correct rating is Aaa (AAA would be S&P or Fitch). Moody's description is Revenue: 501c3 Unsecured General Obligation. Using S&P, I believe there are only three AAA corporations (XOM, MSFT and JNJ). There are a number of AAA and/or Aaa higher ed credits. Princeton, Harvard, UM, Texas, Stanford, etc.
Of the $400mm, $210mm is new money with $190mm refunding existing variable rate bonds hedged with interest rate swaps (swaps were a loser that the university expected to be offset with the overall refi savings)
From the $210mm new money, $120mm goes to Campus Crossroads with the balance to other campus projects (utility tunnels, etc). The $120mm is expected to be paid back by new revenues from the stadium expansion.
The university does not set the rate...the market does and interest rates, in general, are at historic lows lately. Good timing and one of the top higher education ratings/names.