Roanoke College

S&P upgrades Roanoke College rating to A-


SALEM, Va. -Standard & Poor's Rating Services, a leading provider of financial market intelligence, has upgraded the bond rating for Roanoke College to a rating of A-. The rating is an upgrade from the BBB+ rating the college received in 1992.

  • Standard & Poor's (S&P) report cites five reasons for the rating.
  • Three years of operating break-even operating results
  • The college's endowment of $91 million, most of which is restricted
  • A history of strong fundraising
  • Strong management
  • ow maximum annual debt service of 3.1 percent

Roanoke College recently sold approximately $20 million in public educational facilities revenue bonds to fund the renovation of several residence halls into a housing complex for first-year students and to restructure some existing debt.

"This important upgrade is a tribute to all of Roanoke's past and present stewards," says Michael Maxey, acting president of Roanoke College. "Our fiscal philosophy of today is built on wise leadership in the past. Our tradition is to be prudent with college resources. Standard & Poors recognized this. Roanoke's Board of Trustees has a long-standing requirement for sound fiscal management so that the college can offer strong educational experiences for our students."

Roanoke College had a $1.7 million operating surplus in fiscal 2006. This was recognized by S&P, whose report covered the most recent three-year history of finances. But Roanoke actually has an unbroken record of 52 years "in the black" - or with an operating surplus.

"Roanoke College has developed a strong financial profile over many years," says Mark Noftsinger, vice president of business affairs. "The current efforts continue to reflect the college's commitment to fiscal responsibility and at the same time provide an environment conducive to learning."

S&P awarded the rating after a rigorous review of the college's finances and a site visit by two analysts, who felt the college had a strong management team. Because of the recent presidential change, S&P analysts also met with college trustees to be certain of the stability of leadership. The report reflects the recent appointment of Maxey as Roanoke's 11th president.

Roanoke College, the country's second-oldest Lutheran-related college, is an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college. Roanoke is one of just 276 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast." Roanoke's 1,970 students represent 40 states across the U.S. and 26 foreign countries.

For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.