Lower Columbia College is celebrating the grand opening of the Regional University Center, in a ceremony that’s planned for today in the Alan Thompson Library. The University Center opened just prior to the fall term, housing staff, faculty, study areas and a high-tech classroom for LCC’s university partners. Students will be able to use the Center to enroll and complete programs from Eastern Washington University, Washington State University Vancouver, City University of Seattle and Concordia University. LCC officials say that the goal is to greatly increase the number of local residents with four-year degrees, giving them the ability to obtain those degrees without leaving this area. Executives from Eastern, WSU Vancouver and CityU will be joined by former State Senator Alan Thompson and former LCC President Vernon “Pete” Pickett at this morning’s ceremony. Today’s grand opening will begin at 11 am, and will be followed by short presentations from each of the partners. Additional presentations are also planned through the afternoon.