Though Saucier was able to grow his business at a steady rate, he wanted more. He decided to pursue a business degree at University of Phoenix. He had two college-age kids at the time, and part of him wanted to prove to them that he could easily complete his degree. He was mistaken.
“I was working twice as hard as my kids, who were attending a brick-and-mortar university,” Saucier says, laughing. The rigor of the program lit a fire for Saucier, who threw himself into his schoolwork.
At the time, Saucier’s wife was terminally ill with cancer, and there was a good chance she wouldn’t see him receive his diploma. Determined that she see him graduate, he started doubling his classes and “testing out” of general education courses as much as he could. Sadly, she passed in April 2014, two months before his original June graduation date.
When he graduated, it was a feat devoted in large part to her.
Saucier went on to use his degree to grow his business as well as his collection. Even among avid Titanic collectors, Saucier and his collection stand out. It includes chairs from the deck of the ship, sheet music from the ship’s violinist, game boards made from repurposed Titanic driftwood — and that’s just scratching the surface.
Saucier’s collection has been a special exhibit at a number of prestigious locations, such as the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the National Geographic Museum. Through his success, he’s also been able to meet and discuss the topic with Titanic film director James Cameron and the man who discovered the Titanic wreckage, Robert Ballard.
Saucier’s passion for the Titanic may have driven his business venture, but the Titanic is not his only love. Saucier also purchased the world’s most expensive collectible matchbook (featuring Charles Lindbergh) and is a professional bowler.
His biggest role, however, may be as an example of how education and a good deal of determination can help grow and sustain a passion.
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