Georgian native pursuing majors in political science and public administration

By Molly Kutz

Mate Kvirikashvili celebrated a successful season at the team banquet.
Photo Credit: Margaret Fontanesi

KU junior Mate Kvirikashvili’s diligent nature has led him to pursue degrees in political science and public administration, with minors in economics and international studies. He plans to obtain a master’s degree in international relations, with the ultimate goal of becoming a diplomat for the United States Embassy in Georgia.

Kvirikashvili was born in Kutaisi in the country of Georgia, where his love for rugby began.

Last spring, Kvirikashvili, who is also team captain, was named the Men’s Premier Division Tournament MVP after helping his sevens team win the National Rugby Championship.

After the tournament, Kvirikashvili was named Men’s Collegiate Rugby Division I All-American in 2022. His main goal for 2023 is to play for the U.S. Eagles’ sevens team over the summer.

One thing he has carried in his heart from Kutaisi is his love of Mtsvadi, a Georgian delight. Mtsvadi is a savory grilled pork skewer with onions marinated in red wine. This dish is very simple yet “flavorful and delicious,” which is how Kvirikashvili describes his personality.

A hard worker in the classroom and on the field, Kvirikashvili recounted his favorite moment as part of the rugby team: taking a trip to coach Dr. Gregg Jones’s (aka Doc’s) beach house right before the National Championship Tournament.

“It was just a bunch of the boys having fun at the beach and bonding,” Kvirikashvili said as he reflected on the memories that stemmed from the trip, how it had a considerable impact on the team and helped create a strong bond.

During the interview, Kvirikashvili talked a lot about his teammates, praising them for their talent and strong competitive attitudes. He has confidence that his team can win the National Championship again.

Back in 2019, in Monroe Woodbury, New York, Kvirikashvili won the Connecticut State Championship with his club team, where he created a name for himself. In 2018 and 2019, his junior and senior year of high school, he was selected for the Connecticut All-Star teams.

All of this education is based upon reading. “The way I look at books,” he said, “is I read them to experience certain aspects of life without actually experiencing them myself. Books teach you so much about life from other people’s experiences rather than your own.” He has read many books in his free time, but the most impactful books he has read have been The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.


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