Sycamore Trust takes its name from the “Guardian of the Grotto,” the ancient tree standing watch over the Grotto that, according to legend, reaches with its gnarled branches toward God in prayerful memorial to the innocent Indian murdered where it took root.
Like the sentinel which is perpetually protective of the Grotto, so, too, are alumni perpetually protective of Notre Dame’s formative heritage — at the heart of which are the school’s Catholic identity and its sustaining relationship to the Church.
There is more about the landmark sycamore tree in Dorothy V. Corson’s The Spirit of Notre Dame: Its History, Legend.
Like ghosts of birds, the flocking flakes / Amid the leafless branches fly. (The Dome, V. 39.)
Sycamore’s image contains visual references to Mary Queen of Heaven, Notre Dame’s golden dome, and the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. The circle of stars in our name represents the crown of twelve stars on Mary’s head. The golden arch between the blue and gray represents the golden dome and the sun clothing Mary. The blue arch in the foreground, the traditional color of Mary’s mantle, represents the Grotto. And the gray arch in the background represents twilight — whether from the sun setting on our beloved University or rising over her depends a great deal on the success of Sycamore and others working to preserve Notre Dame’s Catholic identity.
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. (Revelation 12:1-2.)