Obituary: Radhakrishnan Gopalan, professor of finance, 50 – The Source

Radhakrishnan Gopalan, a longtime, beloved professor of finance at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, died Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, of cancer. He was 50.

Born in 1972 in Chennai, India, Gopalan joined the university in 2006 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. Most recently, he served as the academic director of Olin’s Mumbai-based executive MBA program, in partnership with IIT-Bombay.


“Radha was a dear friend, former student of mine, an esteemed researcher and a respected teacher and mentor to Olin students,” said Anjan Thakor, interim dean of Olin Business School and the John E. Simon Professor of Finance. “Our grief over this tragic loss is great, but so is our gratitude for the life of our friend.”

In remembering Gopalan, colleagues and friends recalled that he was an independent thinker who loved to call himself the “devil’s advocate” in any conversation. He was well loved for his kind heart, warm smile, quick wit and humor.

“Radha was a very special person — brilliant mind, warm heart, witty humor, caring and compassionate, a change agent and always encouraging his students and colleagues to do better and move forward,” said Mahendra R. Gupta, a former dean and the Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management.

“His research impact is…

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