Set up in Newbury, Vermont, the school was named the "Newbury Biblical Institute".
In 1847, the Congregational Society in Concord, New Hampshire, invited the Institute to relocate to Concord and offered a disused Congregational church building with a capacity of 1200 people.
Kilgore describes this as the largest single donation to an American college or university to that time.
By December, however, the Great Boston Fire of 1872 had destroyed all but one of the buildings Rich had left to the University, and the insurance companies with which they had been insured were bankrupt.
It offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctorates, and medical, dental, business, and law degrees through 17 schools and colleges on two urban campuses.