Heartbreaking news in the Olin family

Updated at 8:53 p.m. today with service information.

Dear Olin friends,

I am absolutely heartbroken to share the news that our colleague Radhakrishnan Gopalan succumbed to cancer early this morning at the age of 50. It is difficult to put into words the depth of my sorrow. My dear friend, coauthor, and our esteemed faculty partner had been battling the disease for a long time. Please join me in keeping Radha and his family in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Radha had been a member of the Olin community since 2006, when he joined the finance faculty. He had steadily risen in esteem and responsibility throughout his time at the business school, finally serving as the academic director of Olin’s Mumbai-based Executive MBA program in partnership with IIT-Bombay.

As a scholar, Radha was exceptional, and I was privileged to coauthor several research papers with him. His research into corporate finance, corporate governance, emerging market financial systems, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, entrepreneurial finance and household finance has been widely cited. Indeed, Google Scholar notes nearly 4,000 citations in his career, more than half just since 2017.

Among his honors, Radha is a Reid teaching award recipient and won the Olin Award in 2016 for research most likely to have an immediate impact on business. That work centered on compensation goals and firm performance. A few years earlier, Poets & Quants selected him as one of the 40 best business school professors under 40. His accomplishments were many, and he lived a life of distinction.

He came to Olin soon after earning his PhD in finance from the University of Michigan. Before that, he worked for five years in the project finance department of a leading Indian bank.

I know I speak for many among us at Olin Business School in expressing grief over this tragic loss, and gratitude for the life of our friend, teacher, colleague, mentor and scholar.

Services for Radha will be Thursday, December 8, at Schrader Funeral Home & Crematory, 14960 Manchester Road, Ballwin, MO 63011. Visitation is from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Prayers, rites and cremation are scheduled for 3:00-5:00 p.m. Dress code: Wear clothes of your favorite color. The family shared that is the way Radha would have wanted it.

Readers who are so inclined are encouraged to leave tributes and memories in the comments below.

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24 Responses to "Heartbreaking news in the Olin family"

  1. avatar Sachal

    He will be truly missed. He was such a great soul. Very sad to hear this news.

  2. avatar Bhavya SInghvi

    Shocked to know about this. He was a very deep thinker and motivated many young scholars like me in his classes, in conversations, and through his work. He will be missed dearly and he will remain a guiding light forever.

  3. avatar Kausik

    Deeply saddened to hear about Professor Radhakrishnan’s demise.

    My deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

    May his soul rest in peace

  4. avatar Kyle Cronsn

    I’m so sad to read this news. Radha was a great steward of Olin with a contagious personality. He was a great advocate for our students and was one of a kind. Prayers and thoughts for the family.

  5. avatar Praveen Mohanty

    Radha was an old colleague and friend and I am shocked to get this news. He will be missed. My heartfelt condolences to the family.

  6. avatar Franco Fiordelisi

    I’m heartbroken about Radha’s loss.
    I met Radha for the first time in 2011 during my Fulbright visit to Olin.
    He immediately impressed me: Radha is a great human being, always kind and helpful.
    My heartfelt condolences to the family

  7. avatar Kangzhen Xie

    Deeply shocked and sadden to hear it. Radha was my coauthor and mentor. It’s my great fortune to work with him on a paper soon after he arrived at Olin in 2006. He guided me through the project and taught me how to do empirical research. Radha was such a candid and kindhearted person and a pure scholar. During the project, he called me to his office several times and patiently showed me where I got wrong. I am deeply grateful for his mentorship and help. May his soul rest in peace!

  8. avatar Seethu Seetharaman

    Radha will be especially missed at faculty meetings where he was a visible presence with his forceful questions and opinions. Many a time that he crossed the lawn to visit Knight Hall, he would pop in to my office for a friendly chat. I will miss these tete-a-tetes. A straight-shooter and prolific academic scholar. Rest in peace, my friend.

  9. avatar Markus Baer

    I will miss Radha dearly – his independent mind, his kind heart, and his warm smile. Heaven is a better place since he arrived.

  10. avatar Jessica Hatch

    Radha dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy to nurturing the next generation of scholars. My heart goes out to his family. I know that the students he mentored will continue to feel his impact and follow his example.

    • avatar Gideon Zhang

      Shocked by the news from a friend and found out it’s true. Condolences to the family.
      You were the only professor I dedicated my 100% energy to and hope you won’t forget my Namaste when I first met you.
      Bye Radha!

  11. avatar Prachi Desai

    Deeply saddened to hear this.
    My heart goes out to the grieving family, you are in my thoughts and prayers,

  12. avatar Jayaraman

    My brother sriram was a go getter. A kind and generous person. My memory lingers on how he cared and enquired a hotel staff during our eatouts. He wanted the best and did his best. Sometimes i feel he sets the bar a little too high. Keeps pushing me to do the right thing. I will always feel proud about my brother Sriram.

  13. avatar Atanu Ghosh

    Very sad to learn this – he left too early. Professor Gopalan was very friendly and always eager to help. He will be missed.

  14. avatar Mangesh Amale

    Deeply saddened…prayers 🙏

  15. avatar Lubo Litov

    A dear friend, a great colleague, and a superb scholar. I will miss Radha. My deepest condolences to his family.

  16. avatar Ramesh Seenippandian

    Deeply saddened and shocked to hear this. Radha was an inspiring colleague when we worked together in a financial institution in Mumbai. I still remember attending his marriage reception over 20 years ago along with other colleagues in Mumbai in the RCF community hall. He went on to achieve great honors in his teaching and research career. I gratefully remember the guidance he had given about college education in the USA a few years ago when my son was about to begin college. Gone too soon, Radha. Heartfelt condolences to his family and prayers for the peaceful rest of his soul.

  17. avatar Kalyani

    Deeply saddened and shocked to hear this. Condolences to his family!

  18. avatar Thenmozhi

    Shocked to see this news. May his soul rest in peace and my heartfelt condolences to his family. He has been a good friend and a scholar of repute in the academic community.Om Shanthi🙏

  19. avatar Ullas Rao

    Condolences on the passing away of Professor Radhakrishnan Gopalan. May God give the strength to his family to withstand this extremely difficult moment. I fondly remember him speaking with much enthusiasm and participating actively at the ISB Summer Research Condolence 2016.

  20. avatar Bhrat Thakkar

    My thoughts are with the grieving family. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to interact with him much as he had joined EMBA program when my batch was concluding.
    May his soul rest in peace.
    Bhrat Thakkar

  21. avatar Danielle McPherson

    He was such a brilliant man! I appreciated all of his guidance. May he rest in peace!

  22. avatar Nagarjuna

    We Lost a Kind Hearted Intelligent Personality. The world will miss him…

  23. avatar Jim Horn

    He will be missed dearly. I am very sad to hear this news.

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